Wed, Sep 21, 2016 - Page 3 News List

NPP presents pension reform plan

By Sean Lin  /  Staff reporter

New Power Party legislators Huang Kuo-chang, left, and Freddy Lim present a pension reform proposal at a news conference in Taipei yesterday.

Photo: George Tsorng, Taipei Times

The New Power Party (NPP) yesterday proposed draft amendments to cut the preferential interest rate for people who combined years worked as Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) officials and civil servants to qualify for pensions, while it also said monthly pensions received by retired government officials should be capped at between 45 and 50 percent of their monthly salary.

The NPP said that the Act Governing the Recompense for the Discharge of Special Political Appointees (政務人員退職撫卹條例) should be amended to cut pensions for KMT officials who are retired civil servants from 18 percent to 8 percent.

NPP legislative caucus convener Hsu Yung-ming (徐永明) said that he hopes the amendments would enable a clear distinction between public posts and KMT positions, while providing a clear definition of what KMT officials are and how their pensions should be calculated.

Citing Ministry of Civil Service statistics, Hsu said that there are 233 retired civil servants who fit the description, but because the ministry’s calculation excluded some public-school teachers and military personnel, the actual number is larger.

According to the draft amendment, those who combined time served in KMT and civil-service posts include people who worked at KMT headquarters or at regional chapters, as well as at the Republic of China Public Service Association, China Youth Nation Salvation Corps, Chinese Association for Relief and Ensuing Services, Radio Taiwan International, Youth Cultural Enterprise Co Ltd or the Three Principles Youth Group.

Overpayments made to those who combined party and government service years should be retrieved by the agency that issued the pensions, the draft said.

NPP Executive Chairman Huang Kuo-chang (黃國昌) said Article 13 of the act allows former government officials who retired before the act’s implementation in 2004 to continue receiving generous pensions stipulated by older rules.

If passed, the proposal would cap pensions for those who held public-service posts for fewer than 25 years at 50 percent of what they were paid, Huang said.

For those who worked more than 25 years, the rate would be increased by 0.5 percent for each year over 25, with a cap at 55 percent, he said.

As for government officials who claimed full pensions and are eligible for the 18 percent preferential interest rate, a limit of NT$1 million (US$31,880) would be imposed on the accounts that generate the preferential interest, he said.

Other officials whose pensions are paid in a package deal combined with monthly payments would see an account cap of NT$2 million, while the monthly pension conditions would be the same as for others, he said.

Huang said that more than 500 retired officials deposited more than NT$1.2 billion each into their accounts, costing the government about NT$200 million in interest payments every year.

If the proposal to cut the 18 percent interest rate is passed, the government will be able to save between NT$130 million and NT$140 million per year, he said.

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