Wed, Dec 20, 2006 - Page 3 News List

DPP lawmakers continue to push to restore pension reform

By Shih Hsiu-chuan  /  STAFF REPORTER

Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) lawmakers yesterday proposed a motion to continue reforming the retirement benefit scheme for government employees, following a resolution that passed in the legislature last week overriding the reform plan.

The DPP motion, however, was not dealt with in yesterday's legislative session because Legislative Speaker Wang Jin-pyng (王金平) disapproved of pan-blue lawmakers' opposition to the reform effort.

WANG'S ADVICE

Wang urged the pan-blue camp to avoid scheduling a vote on the DPP's proposal yesterday so they could think about the need to reform the pension system.

Under an 18 percent preferential interest rate scheme introduced in the 1950s, the income replacement rate -- post-retirement income as compared with pre-retirement income for retired civil servants, military personnel and teachers -- could reach as high as 115 percent for recipients.

On Feb. 16 the Cabinet passed a proposal modifying the interest rate to a more reasonable 90 percent maximum.

The legislature, at the request of the pan-blues, passed a resolution overriding the Cabinet's proposal, which resulted in the initial 18 percent special interest rate scheme being reinstated. The resolution also requires the government to compensate people affected by the plan for the loss of interest over the past 10 months.

BETRAYAL

DPP lawmakers helped to push through the resolution as they had struck a deal with the pan-blues that a new pension system would be adopted next February to replace the previous one. If the new pension system is passed, the government could save NT$38 million (US$1.16 million) by 2048. However, pan-blue lawmakers reneged on the deal.

The proposal filed by DPP lawmakers yesterday would prevent the pension system from reverting to the old scheme, but the proposal would have to be approved by the legislature.

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