The Examination Yuan yesterday approved a proposal to revise the civil servant retirement system, which could save the national treasury up to NT$4.3 billion (US$129 million), Minister of Civil Service Chang Che-chen (張哲琛) said.
“One of the main revisions was made to discourage civil servants from applying for early retirement as this rising phenomenon has resulted in a waste of resources and imposed a heavy financial burden on the nation's fiscal system,” Chang said.
The bill stipulates that a civil servant cannot apply for early retirement unless the sum of the individual's number of years in public service and his or her age exceeds 85 — replacing the current threshold of 75.
However, to meet the ministry's goal of reducing the number of civil servants by 4,000 to 176,000, three exceptions would be made to qualify for preferential retirement: those who have completed 20 years of civil service; those aged 50 or above who have completed 10 years of service; or, a senior official who has reached the highest salary bracket for at least three years.
The preferential treatment will grant a maximum of seven months' salary on top of their pension to the volunteers whose applications are approved by their superiors.
If the revisions are approved by the legislature, the spouse of a deceased civil servant will not be granted life-long monthly relief pension unless he or she meets three new conditions: They were married for more than two years; he or she is at least 55 years of age; and he or she lacks the ability to earn a living.
The proposal also recommends establishing a mechanism to weed out incompetent civil servants by authorizing government institutions to ask civil servants who have been ill for a long time or performed under par to retire early.