The Legislative Yuan yesterday passed amendments to the Labor Pension Act (勞工退休金條例) that raise the maximum fine for employers who owe workers pensions from NT$250,000 to NT$1.5 million (US$8,089 to US$48,533).
The motion to raise the fine was made due to disputes between employers and employees that have seriously affected the retired life of workers and disturbed society, the Executive Yuan said.
The amendments also made all foreign nationals, including Chinese, who have obtained residency, rather than just those who obtained residency through marriage, and are employed in Taiwan eligible for pensions.
Photo: Chien Jung-fong, Taipei Times
Under the labor pension system, employers are obliged to contribute funds equivalent to a minimum of 6 percent of monthly salaries to employee pension accounts every month. Employees have the option of depositing a maximum of 6 percent of their salaries in the accounts, with the deposits exempt from income tax.
Most foreigners who have obtained permanent residency plan to continue living in Taiwan, the Ministry of Labor said, adding that the amendment is aimed at enabling them to have a better life after retirement.
To encourage self-employed workers and freelancers to plan ahead for retirement, the amendments made those who voluntarily allocate a portion of their earnings to a dedicated account as their pension fund eligible for income tax deductions equivalent to the sum they have allocated over a fiscal year.
Another amendment extended the time frame from five to 10 years for a family member or designated claimant to claim a lump-sum pension on behalf of a deceased worker.
The amendment stipulates that if a deceased worker has no family members or designated claimant, their pensions would be reinvested into the pension fund from the 11th year following their deaths.
In related news, lawmakers yesterday also passed amendments to the Labor Standards Act (勞動基準法) stipulating that contracts signed between a project owner and a dispatch worker should be indefinite rather than bound to a specific time period.
This would prevent a project owner from signing fixed-term contracts with dispatch workers, which would allow them to skirt labor rules if they prematurely end the contact and avoid paying severance fees, said Democratic Progressive Party Legislator Chao Tien-lin (趙天麟), a sponsor of the amendment.
The amendments stipulate that if dispatch workers are owed wages by a project owner, they may request payment from their dispatch work agency, which may then seek compensation from the project owner.
Additional reporting by CNA
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