Fri, Jan 06, 2006 - Page 3 News List

New pension plan to start on Feb. 16

By Ko Shu-ling  /  STAFF REPORTER

Members of the National Teachers' Association and retired teachers place flowers in the shape of a heart outside the Examination Yuan yesterday during a demonstration to demand that Minister of Civil Service Chu Wu-hsien step down over a plan to cut the pensions of civil servants.

PHOTO: SEAN CHAO, TAIPEI TIMES

Amid a protest staged by a teacher's association and opposition from pan-blue members of the Examination Yuan, the government announced yesterday that a new pension plan for teachers, civil servants and military personnel will take effect on Feb. 16.

In a bid to avoid being the target of criticism, the Examination Yuan yesterday resolved to pass the hot potato to the Ministry of Civil Service and allow it to decide when to implement the measure.

Minister of Civil Service Chu Wu-hsien (朱武獻) later said the ministry will launch the new scheme on Feb. 16, after discussing it with officials of the Executive Yuan and Judicial Yuan.

While the Examination Yuan was discussing the pension scheme, a group of protesters from the National Teacher's Association staged a demonstration outside, demanding that Chu step down.

They also made a "three-yes, three-no" request. The "three-no" demand was no Chu-style reform plan, no well-paid officials but poorly-paid civil servants, and no castes on campus. The "three-yes" request was yes to fair and reasonable reform, yes to a public hearing on the new pension plan, and yes to a retirement pension fund.

The group was dismissed after the Examination Yuan concluded the meeting.

Calling the reform project a "political whim," four pan-blue Examination Yuan members came out of the meeting to voice their opposition to the program in a written statement.

They said the pension plan is not a reform but rather a "political whim" and has become a pathetic appeal by the ruling party in the wake of its election defeat in the Dec. 3 local government polls.

"As independent and impartial Examination Yuan members, we refuse to endorse the new plan, which is unfair, unrealistic and illegal," the statement said. "What we expect to see instead is a national retirement pension program that is responsible, well thought out and can last for a long time."

The Executive Yuan said it hoped to see the measure implemented on Feb. 1.

"In a bid to materialize President Chen Shui-bian's (陳水扁) determination to reform and respond to the people's call for reform, we will continue to negotiate with the Examination Yuan, the Ministry of National Defense, the Ministry of Education and Central Personnel Administration to implement the measure in full on Feb. 1," Cabinet Spokesman Cho Jung-tai (卓榮泰) said.

Cho said that the Executive Yuan has been hoping to see the scheme take effect on Feb. 1 because the date marks the beginning of a new semester and therefore is more meaningful.

Under the new plan, teachers, civil servants and military personnel with service records of 25 years or more will earn a monthly pension amounting to 85 percent of their last monthly paycheck. One percentage point will be added for those who served between 25 and 35 years, while people retiring after more than 35 years of service will receive 95 percent of their monthly paycheck.

This story has been viewed 2970 times.
TOP top