Fri, Apr 06, 2018 - Page 1 News List

Civil servants’ ex-spouses set to get share of pension

By Sherry Hsiao  /  Staff writer, with CNA

Minister of Civil Service Chou Hung-hsien stacks documents in preparation for a Judiciary and Organic Laws and Statutes Committee meeting at the Legislative Yuan in Taipei on May 1 last year.

Photo: Chien Jung-fong, Taipei Times

The former spouses of divorced civil servants are to be eligible for a share of their pension under amendments to the Act Governing Civil Servants’ Retirement, Discharge and Pensions (公務人員退休資遣撫卹法) that are to go into effect on July 1.

The pension distribution ratio for a former spouse is set at one half of the number of years the couple were married while the civil servant was serving by the total number of years the civil servant has served, the new regulation says.

For instance, if a civil servant with 30 years of service was married for 13 years before getting a divorce, 10 years of which overlapped with his time in service, then their former spouse would be entitled to one-sixth of the pension.

However, the couple must have been married for at least two full years, according to the new regulations, some of which took effect in August last year when the law was promulgated.

Priority would be given to a ratio agreed upon by the divorced couple that falls within the ratio set by the new regulations.

In scenarios where the two parties are unable to come to an agreement or when abiding by the statutory ratio would be unfair, a court can adjust or overrule the ratio, the new regulations say.

The new regulations on pensions for divorced spouses was included at the request of legislators last year during a legislative review, a Ministry of Civil Service official said on condition of anonymity.

Civil servants were not originally subject to the regulation, the official said, adding that it was also not the intention of the Ministry of Examination to include the regulation.

Legislators believed that a spouse makes a contribution during a marriage and therefore the regulation was added, the official said.

The new law is not retroactive and it only applies to civil servants who file for divorce after July 1, the official added.

Currently, there are no relevant regulations for workers in the private sector and it is unclear whether a similar amendment would be passed, the official said.

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