Sun, Oct 08, 2006 - Page 3 News List

Pension regulations remain unresolved

By Jimmy Chuang  /  STAFF REPORTER

Although no solution has been reached, officials and opposition lawmakers have at least agreed to disagree on recently reformed pension regulations.

"We have come to an agreement that there are still a large number of issues that need to be addressed with the new pension rule. But we have yet to figure out further details at this moment," said Lu Ming-tai (呂明泰), the director of the Ministry of Civil Service's Department of Retirement and Survivor Relief.

The new pension rules have been in effect since Feb. 16. The ministry estimates that the new rules will help the government save at least NT$74.4 billion (US$2.3 billion) over the next 40 years.

early retirement

Officials said that the new rule will also help keep the government full of young talent and maintain a rotation of human resources, as more public servants would decide to retire earlier under the new rules.

Pan-blue lawmakers oppose the pension changes and proposed an administrative order to suspend the new rules in March, which has been pending ever since.

The opposition stems from the belief that the new rules take away some of the benefits given to Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) employees, since their service for their party was regarded as service to the government during the years of KMT authoritarian rule.

KMT lawmakers have frozen the annual budgets for the Examination Yuan and the Ministry of Civil Service in retaliation.

Lu said that many lawmakers had proposed different ideas and opinions for fixing the new pension rules, but the ministry has yet to accept any because the opinions aren't practical.

respect

"We are still working on it," Lu said. "But we respect and would seriously consider all of our lawmakers."

The new pension rule states that civil servants, teachers and military personnel with a minimum of 25 years of service would qualify for the new program.

Those who retire after 25 years will earn a pension amounting to 85 percent of their monthly paycheck.

One percentage point will be added for every year of service after that, to a maximum of 95 percent of their monthly paycheck for 35 years of service.

In addition, the premier also said that a position within the KMT cannot be regarded as a civil service post, meaning that many high-ranking KMT officials who currently receive large pensions may no longer be eligible for the program.

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