Money saved by eliminating “preferential savings accounts” for retired military personnel, civil servants and teachers should be returned to the national budget rather going to national pension funds, labor rights campaigners said yesterday, while calling for the government to pass a long-term plan to unify the nation’s divergent pension systems.
“The NT$70 billion [US$2.3 billion] we are spending on interest for preferential savings is already in excess of what pensioners should be receiving — it should be invested into programs which benefit younger people,” Taiwan Labor and Social Policy Research Association executive director Chang Feng-yi (張烽益) said.
The preferential interest is appropriated from the national budget, while funds for pensions themselves are drawn out of pension funds financed mainly by salary deductions.
Government pension reform plans would eliminate special accounts, while money which would have been appropriated for interest payments is to be put into pension funds, increasing the number of years before the pension fund is bankrupt.
Chang also called for pensions for non-military personnel to be gradually adjusted until the civil servants’ and teachers’ pensions can be merged with a pension system for other workers.
He rejected calls to increase workers’ pensions and introduce a new universal minimum pension.
“National Labor Insurance already has a ‘guaranteed pension’ — it is just that it is only NT$3,000 a month,” he said, adding that some cuts to workers’ pensions would be necessary.
Chang also called for increases to pension fund contributions.
Taiwan Labor Front secretary-general Son Yu-liam (孫友聯) said there was no room to reasonably reject cuts, which he blamed on faulty calculations when revisions to the system were passed in 2008.
Taiwan Labor Front director Bair Jeng-shiann (白正憲) called for mandated pension fund contributions to be automatically adjusted based on fund performance, while rejecting some labor groups’ calls to retain “guaranteed payments” to pensioners.
Additional reporting by Huang Pang-pingront
ALARM GROWS: US officials are concerned that China’s claim that the Taiwan Strait is an internal waterway is a deliberate effort to muddy the legal status of Taiwan US President Joe Biden’s administration has decided to reject a vague new assertion by China that the Taiwan Strait is not “international waters” and is increasingly concerned the stance could result in more frequent challenges at sea for Taiwan, people familiar with the matter said. Chinese officials have made such remarks repeatedly in meetings with US counterparts over the past few months. In the past, while China regularly protested US military moves in the Taiwan Strait, the legal status of the waters was not a regular talking point in meetings with US officials. The timing of the assertion is causing alarm within the
‘HIDDEN GEM’: The city earned plaudits for its low crime rate, world-class healthcare system, cheap cost of living and easy public transportation Taipei has been named the 10th best city in the world for quality of living in an annual survey by the editors of Monocle, a UK-based global affairs and lifestyle magazine. The survey, which is to be published in the magazine’s July/August issue, selected the world’s top 25 cities based on factors including cost of living, retail, hospitality, culture and access to green spaces, as well as feedback from Monocle correspondents. Taipei’s 10th place finish was one place down from a year earlier. The survey ranked Copenhagen as the world’s best city, with Zurich, Lisbon, Helsinki and Stockholm rounding out the top five.
NO COMORBIDITIES: The girl died of encephalitis, the sixth COVID-19-related death of the disease this year and 19th death of a child from the virus, the center said The Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) yesterday reported 52,213 new domestically transmitted COVID-19 cases and 171 deaths from the virus, including a four-year-old girl, who had been diagnosed with encephalitis, and a 19-year-old man, who had underlying health conditions. “The caseloads are usually higher on Tuesdays and Wednesdays, but they [yesterday] fell 7.3 percent from the day before,” Centers for Disease Control (CDC) Deputy Director-General Chuang Jen-hsiang (莊人祥) said. Chuang, who is the CECC’s spokesman, said that most cities and counties reported a drop in new cases, and the CECC expects fewer than 50,000 new cases today. The center said that 150 of
LIMIT: The CECC has capped the number of weekly arrivals to 25,000, which critics said has limited the number of available flights and caused ticket prices to soar The government is not likely to raise the cap on the number of inbound travelers before the end of this month, despite the apparent effect on the number of inbound flights, Minister of Transportation and Communications Wang Kwo-tsai (王國材) said yesterday. The Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) on Wednesday last week eased quarantine rules for inbound travelers, who must undergo three days of home quarantine upon arrival and spend another four days in self-initiated disease prevention. It also capped the number of inbound travelers to 25,000 per week. The weekly limit has drawn criticism that it has limited the number of flights