Mon, Mar 06, 2017 - Page 3 News List

Interest rate phase-out plan unchanged

UNIFORM:The preferential interest rate for public employees should be phased out at the same pace regardless of occupation, Minister Without Portfolio Lin Wan-yi said

By Chen Wei-han  /  Staff reporter

The 18 percent preferential interest rate for retired military personnel is likely to be phased out in six years, in line with the government’s plan to reform the pensions of public employees.

“The same standard should apply to all public employees in terms of phasing out of the preferential interest rate, including military personnel, government employees and school teachers,” Minister Without Portfolio Lin Wan-yi (林萬億) said yesterday.

The government has announced that the adjustment of pensions for military personnel would be handled separately from those of civil servants and teachers, because the retirement ages of military personnel are lower than those in other lines of work and because retired military personnel are more likely to choose a lump-sum pension payout plan.

“However, the reform of the 18 percent interest rate should be carried out uniformly regardless of occupation, which was the understanding reached at the pension reform forums,” Lin said, adding that the government has yet to finalize the reform plan for military personnel.

A recently announced six-year phase-out plan for public employees would reduce the preferential interest rate every two years, with the rate falling to 9 percent after the first two years of retirement and then to 6 percent and 3 percent. It is to be 0 percent from the seventh year.

The same rules are expected to be applied to retired military personnel who chose a monthly pension payment, while a different plan might be in place for people who chose a lump-sum payout.

Meanwhile, the Ministry of National Defense has submitted draft reform plans to the Cabinet, seeking better pension benefits and higher income replacement ratios for military personnel, including a minimum pension that sustains basic living, Lin said, without revealing details.

Veterans Affairs Council Minister Lee Hsiang-jow (李翔宙) last week said that the minimum monthly pension for retired military personnel should be NT$40,000 to ensure a stable retirement, with the defense ministry supporting Lee’s proposal.

The proposal also discusses draft reform plans submitted by the defense ministry, but the measures have yet to be finalized, Lin said.

The defense ministry is expected to complete drafting the plans and submit them for legislative review along with the Cabinet’s pension reform plans by the end of this month, but it could be given more time if necessary, Lin said.

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