Sun, Apr 23, 2017 - Page 3 News List

Bill to tackle pensions retroactively

IN THE PASTIn 1969, China Youth Corps staff who were transferred to ministry jobs were allowed to include their time in the corps in their government pension request

By Tseng Wei-chen  /  Staff reporter

Calculations of government pension benefits would be changed to retroactively exclude years of service in political parties and nonprofit organizations under draft legislation expected to be passed by the Legislative Yuan on Tuesday.

The Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) caucus has arranged final cross-caucus negotiations on the bill tomorrow.

If passed, about 400 former civil servants’ pensions and benefits would be readjusted, while prominent Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) figures, including former vice president Lien Chan (連戰) and KMT Vice Chairman Jason Hu (胡志強), would be subject to legal action if they do not pay back excess benefits to the government.

The Ministry of Civil Service said the unique pension calculation formula can be traced to 1969, when China Youth Corps employees who were transferred to government ministries were allowed to include years of service with the corps in government pension calculations under a formal directive in 1971, after several other groups were also granted the privilege.

While the directive was abolished in 1987, those who had already transferred into government ministries were allowed to continue including previous service years in pension calculations until the practice was finally abolished in 2006.

The abolition was not retroactively applied, with the current draft requiring recalculation for all beneficiaries earning monthly pensions of more than NT$25,000.

The government would also be able to demand that beneficiary’s original employers compensate the government for extra benefits paid as a result of including extra service years, with any politically appointed beneficiaries to compensate the government directly.

Beneficiaries who have died would be exempt from the retroactive application, as would their dependents. Partial benefits for dependents of the deceased would not be subject to recalculation either.

KMT caucus convener Sufin Siluko (廖國棟) yesterday said that the benefits should be handled on a case-by-case basis, because individuals’ right to include extra years of service in benefit calculations grew out of the design of the political system at the time.

The extra benefits were not illegal, and a “one size fits all” policy would be unfair, he said, adding that the KMT would push for revisions in cross-caucus negotiations.

Additional reporting by Abraham Gerber and CNA

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