President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) yesterday pledged his determination to implement pension and fiscal reforms amid opposition from the pan-blue camp, and said the government would present solutions next month to make the pension mechanism sustainable.
Faced with the opposition of several Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) lawmakers to the Cabinet’s proposal to narrow the coverage of year-end pension benefits for public sector retirees, Ma met yesterday with Premier Sean Chen (陳冲), Legislative Speaker Wang Jin-pyng (王金平), Control Yuan President Wang Chien-shien, Examination Yuan President John Kuan (關中) and Judicial Yuan President Rai Hau-min (賴浩敏) in the Presidential Office to seek solutions and form a consensus on the issue.
Ma promised that the government would come up with a more reasonable and fair pension system that would ease the nation’s financial burden.
Government statistics show that without reform, the nation’s four major pension funds will go bankrupt within two decades, with the military personnel pension program in danger of becoming insolvent in 2017, the public school teachers’ pension fund in 2027, the Public Service Pension Fund in 2028 and the Labor Insurance Fund in 2031.
Chen proposed the pension reform in October to reduce the number of recipients of a year-end bonus given to more than 445,000 retired military personnel, civil servants, public school teachers and employees of state-owned enterprises.
Under the proposal, the money should only be given to retirees or the families of deceased retirees who receive a monthly pension of less than NT$20,000 and families of retirees who were killed, injured or disabled in wars or military exercises.