The Bureau of Labor Insurance reported yesterday that more than 30,000 people have applied for labor insurance payouts since the beginning of the year, with about 35 percent of them choosing monthly installments instead of paying in one lump sum.
The new labor insurance pension scheme, which came into effect on Jan. 1, gives retired workers aged 60 and above the option of collecting their pension in monthly payouts, in addition to the original lump sum payout.
The Council of Labor Affairs has been promoting the option of collecting monthly payouts because many people jeopardize the quality of their retirement when their lump sum is eaten up by inflation or by poor investment.
In the seven working days since the beginning of the year, the bureau has received more than 30,000 applications, or about 4,000 per day, for labor insurance payouts, bureau manager Huang Chin-yi (黃金乙) said.
Roughly one out of every three had chosen monthly installments, he said.
People who have missed years in paying their labor insurance fees or have not worked for over 15 years do not have the option of choosing monthly installments.
Because of this, it is estimated that among those who have both options open to them, about 60 to 70 percent chose monthly installments, showing that the new scheme is popular with the general public, said Huang.
Because the new labor insurance law also extends coverage to those who have lapsed years in paying labor insurance fees, the bureau has been swarmed with calls from elderly retired workers.
“We got a call from someone who was 102 years old asking if he qualified [for the payout plan] because some of his working years were before the labor insurance scheme had started,” said Tsai Chi-an (蔡吉安), President and CEO of the Bureau of Labor Insurance.
In related news, those who qualify for a national pension should have already received their bills in the mail by now, the bureau said.
The pension system is open to Taiwanese nationals aged between 25 and 65 without other forms of national insurance. For inquiries, call 02-6635 0123.