Tue, May 09, 2017 - Page 3 News List

Lin Wan-yi willing to give up 18 percent savings rate

By Chen Wei-han  /  Staff reporter

To quell the controversy over the eligibility of Minister Without Portfolio Lin Wan-yi (林萬億) for the 18 percent preferential savings rate that is granted to public-sector retirees, Lin yesterday said he would not claim the benefit if it is still available when he retires.

The minister, who is the deputy convener and executive director of the Presidential Office’s pension reform committee, has been engulfed in the controversy because he is eligible as a former sociology professor at National Taiwan University, for the preferential rate, and critics from across party lines questioned his role in the pension reform effort as a result.

A key goal of the reform effort is to phase out the preferential savings rate offered to retired military service members, public-school teachers and civil servants.

Lin made the promise in a statement issued by the Executive Yuan.

He could have retired 10 years ago to maximize his retirement benefits, but he did not and has not claimed any pension benefits so far, he said.

Although he has reached the retirement age of 65 for educators, he has not retired as he is still holds public office, he said.

Lin was widely criticized after saying on Saturday that he would not “put on a show or act as if he was morally better than others by giving up the 18 percent savings rate,” and that he would claim whatever he is legally entitled to when he retired.

“An unreasonable system should be reformed, and the focus should not be placed on any individual,” Lin said, adding that he did not design the reform proposals to the advantage of himself or others.

Lin’s statement on Saturday drew attention as he had previously criticized the preferential interest rate.

Former Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Legislator Lin Choi-shui (林濁水) said while the preferential savings rate has been considered a flawed system contributing to the financial woes of the pension systems, the minister’s unwillingness to give up the benefit suggested a conventional mindset that would leave the reform effort “half-baked.”

“Were [former DPP chairman] Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌) and [President] Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) putting on a show [when they announced they would give up the preferential rate]?” Lin Choi-shui said.

Lin Wan-yi has been named an honorary professor at his former university, but that would not entitle him to any additional retirement benefits, the Executive Yuan said.

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