Fri, Oct 28, 2011 - Page 2 News List

Cabinet backs new Labor Pension Act amendment

By Shih Hsiu-chuan  /  Staff Reporter

The Cabinet yesterday backed an amendment to the Labor Pension Act (勞工退休金條例) to expand the scope of workers eligible for contributions to pension funds.

Should the amendment pass the legislature, self-employed people and people with no fixed employers, such as taxi drivers, stall holders and foreign spouses of Taiwanese who have obtained residency would be eligible to participate in the scheme.

The Council of Labor Affairs said in a statement that the amendment would benefit 1.4 million people currently outside the scheme.

Under the voluntary retirement scheme implemented in 2005, people can contribute 6 percent of their monthly wage to an account, which is tax deductible.

The amendment would require employers of foreign spouses of Taiwanese to contribute 6 percent of an employee’s salary to their retirement account after they have obtained residency.

The amendment would also remove the restriction that permits firms with more than 200 employees to have annuity insurance, suggesting instead that an enterprise can operate annuity insurance as long as the application is approved by the council.

Under the current law, enterprises with more than 200 employees can operate annuity insurance, with the agreement of a labor union. For those without labor unions, over half of the employees must support and agree to take part in the annuity insurance program.

The council said that because of the stringent conditions, there is no enterprise which has initiated an annuity insurance program. The amendment would remove the requirement for more than half of the employees to support and agree to take part in the program.

Meanwhile, Council for Cultural Affairs Minister Emile Sheng (盛治仁) told the legislature’s Education and Culture Committee that his ministry had finished drafting a basic law on cultural rights, cultural affairs, cultural development and related issues, and that it is scheduled to be screened by the Executive Yuan on Monday.

At the committee meeting, Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Legislator Chao Li-yun (趙麗雲) said that in many countries, economic, social and cultural rights are not recognized or enshrined in law.

“Taiwanese society must reach a consensus on the issue before a final bill is drafted,” she said.

Additional reporting by CNA

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