Pension contributions and benefits for private-school teachers should be brought into line with those of ordinary workers as part of pension reform, a teachers’ union said yesterday.
“The government’s plan still has not taken into consideration the situation of private-school teachers,” Taiwan Higher Education Union secretary-general Chen Cheng-liang (陳政亮) said. “Reform has now become a process of continually cutting benefits, but that still will not make the system fairer unless we also improve benefits for those worse off.”
The separate pension systems in place for private and public-school teachers have led to dramatically disparate retirement benefits, even though the salaries and responsibilities of both groups are equivalent, he said.
Private-school teachers’ average monthly pensions are below NT$30,000 (US$980), less than half those of public-school teachers, he said.
“The current system has created a situation in which the income replacement ratio for private-school teachers is lower than any other professional category, even ordinary workers,” union researcher Chen Po-chien (陳柏謙) said, calling for the payment rates to be increased from 1.33 percentage points to 1.55 percentage points for each year of seniority.
Extra benefits should be paid for by increasing payments into the fund for private teachers by 50 percent, using additional school and government contributions, he said.
Given the union’s estimates, the government would need to budget an average of NT$1.56 billion per year, with private schools liable for an additional NT$600 million annually, he said.
Kainan University public administration professor Chang Kuo-sheng (張國聖) said linking private teachers’ income replacement ratio with that of ordinary workers would lay the groundwork for integrating private teachers’ pensions with those enjoyed under the National Labor Insurance.
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