The Executive Yuan yesterday defended the “legality” of a policy that offers certain retired government employees year-end pension benefits, saying that the sum of money is a “necessity” to help the retirees live a stable life.
In response to accusations made by Democratic Progressive Party Legislator Kuan Bi-ling (管碧玲) on Monday that the distribution of the pensions was neither backed by law nor executive order and ran counter to the principles of social justice, the Directorate-General of Personnel Administration (DGPA) issued a statement rebutting the claims.
According to Kuan, an estimated NT$20.2 billion (US$691.9 million) was allotted annually to the pension schemes of 445,708 retirees from the military, the government sector, public schools and state-owned enterprises who have opted to receive retirement benefits in monthly installments instead of one lump sum.
According to DGPA secretary-general Chang Nien-chung (張念中) it was within the limits and is a proper administrative discretion of the Executive Yuan to announce to recipients when the pension payments are distributed.
Chang said that the Council of Grand Justices’ Interpretations No. 443 and No. 614 as well as Article 159 of the Administrative Procedure Act (行政程序法) entitle the Executive Yuan to implement the policy, which has been in place since 1972.
The DGPA said in the statement that the pension benefits should “remain intact” because they have become part of an administrative precedent.
The nation’s fiscal situation had been factored in since the Executive Yuan began granting the pension payments, while the funding needed to underwrite the benefits was now part of the mandatory spending procedures in related government departments’ annual budgets, the statement said.