The Executive Yuan and the Examination Yuan yesterday passed the buck on the NT$20.2 billion (US$691.9 million) in year-end pension benefits for 445,708 retired government employees, a subject that has become a political hot potato.
Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Legislator Kuan Bi-ling (管碧玲) brought attention to the issue on Monday, when she said that retirees from the military, government sector, public schools and state-owned enterprises who are on pensions would receive up to NT$100,000 in year-end benefits.
Kuan said distribution of the pension was based neither on laws nor on executive orders, but simply a “notification” that was not legally valid.
During a question-and-answer session with Premier Sean Chen (陳冲), DPP Legislator Lin Shu-fen (林淑芬) demanded that Chen address the problem, which she said contributed to long-term unfair income disparities between retired government employees and other workers.
“If the notification is not stipulated in the Regulations Governing the Payment of Remuneration to Military, Public and Teaching Personnel (軍公教待遇支給要點), would you like to remove the benefits?” Lin asked.
Chen said the issue fell within the jurisdiction of the Examination Yuan and that he would respect the agency’s decision on the matter.
Later yesterday, Wu Chung-cheng (吳聰成), political deputy minister of the Ministry of Civil Service of the Examination Yuan, said that the ministry would respect the decision of the Executive Yuan.
The notification, based on which the year-end pension is distributed, was promulgated by the Executive Yuan, Wu said.
According to Kuan, the benefit was originally based on Clause 2 of the rules for the implementation of the Civil Service Retirement Act’s (公務人員退休法) Article 26, and it lost its legal basis after the Ministry of Civil Service removed the clause in November 2010.
At the legislature’s session, Directorate-General of Personnel Administration Minister Frank Huang (黃富源) said the benefit was allowed under the Constitution, citing Interpretations No. 434 and No. 614 by the Council of Grand Justices.