Fri, Jun 22, 2018 - Page 1 News List

Military pension reform bill is passed

By Sean Lin  /  Staff reporter

Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) legislators object to proposed amendments to the Act of Military Service for Officers and Noncommissioned Officers of the Armed Forces late on Wednesday night at the Legislative Yuan in Taipei. The large banner reads: “We refuse to support this erroneous pension reform.”

Photo: CNA

Proposed amendments to the Act of Military Service for Officers and Noncommissioned Officers of the Armed Forces (陸海空軍軍官士官服役條例) late on Wednesday passed their final legislative hurdle.

Under the amendments, the pension floor for military personnel who retire after 20 years of service would be NT$38,990 (US$1,287), while the starting income replacement rate of 55 percent would be increased by 2 percent each year until it reaches 95 percent for noncommissioned officers and 90 percent for commissioned officers.

The 18 percent preferential interest rate for savings accounts of retired military personnel recruited before July 1995 is to be gradually phased out over 10 years after the amendments’ promulgation to bring their pensions in line with the floor.

For retirees who claimed their pensions in a lump sum, the preferential savings rate is to be reduced by 2 percent each year until it reaches 6 percent.

The approximately 400 retirees whose service left them disabled and those who are at least 85 years old would be exempted from the rule and would not have their preferential interest rate canceled.

Retirees who are rehired by government-funded agencies — such as public foundations, state-run enterprises or private schools — and who are paid a monthly salary of at least NT$33,140 would be required to forfeit their pensions.

Widows or widowers of deceased military pensioners are entitled to half of their late spouses’ pensions on the condition that they are at least 55 years old and their marriage lasted at least 10 years.

Former spouses may file a request with a court to claim half of the pension received by their former partners on the condition that they were married for at least two years. Pensioners may file an appeal with a court to deliberate on the sum or to reject such requests.

To allow generals to serve longer, the window for generals and lieutenant generals to be promoted or retire is to be extended from eight to 10 years.

Military instructors at high schools who are found to have sexually harassed or assaulted students would be stripped of their pensions and any pension funds they have already received are to be recalled.

To enlarge the pension fund for retired military personnel, the Veterans Affairs Council is to budget NT$100 billion over 10 years in increments of no less than NT$20 billion every two years.

Shortly after the plenary session to review the proposed amendments began at 9am, Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) lawmakers occupied the speaker’s podium in a bid to obstruct the review, then filibustered after they were removed by their Democratic Progressive Party counterparts.

The amendments were passed at 11:20pm.

The Cabinet hopes the amendments will go into effect at the start of next month as scheduled, Executive Yuan spokesman Hsu Kuo-yung (徐國勇) said.

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