Sat, Jan 20, 2018 - Page 3 News List

Cabinet breaking its pension promises to teachers: federation

By Ann Maxon  /  Staff reporter

Draft regulations on pensions and preferential savings rates for retired public-school teachers would not ensure that money saved by the reforms is returned to the teachers’ pension fund, as was promised, the National Federation of Teachers’ Unions (NFTU) said yesterday.

The civil servant and public-school teacher pension systems were last year reformed because funds were running out, NFTU member Lin Chin-tsai (林金財) said at a news conference in Taipei.

The government has promised to reserve the money it saved by reforming the pension system into people’s pensions, Lin said, adding that it was an important reason many public servants and public-school teachers supported the policy.

The Act Governing Civil Servants’ Retirement, Discharge and Pensions (公務人員退休資遣撫卹法), passed on June 27 last year, stipulates that the money saved by cutting pensions and phasing out the 18 percent preferential savings rate program must all go into the pension funds.

Following the passage of the bill, which is to take effect on July 1, the Ministry of Education issued draft regulations outlining the details of the new pension schemes and preferential savings rate for public-school teachers.

The draft regulations would significantly reduce the maximum pension retired public-school teachers can build up in their preferential savings account from 13 months of their last salary to only four months, thus greatly reducing the amount of interest they can receive, NFTU president Chang Hsu-cheng (張旭政) said.

The bill strictly defines money saved from phasing out the 18 percent preferential savings as the annual difference between total interests paid to individuals with preferential savings account every year, Lin said.

“After the reform, most of us will choose not to have a preferential savings account, but the regulations do not consider that as saving money under the preferential savings rate program,” Chang said.

The interest retired public-school teachers could have received if they were to retain their preferential savings accounts or apply for new ones should have also been considered money saved and added to the pension fund, Chang said.

The government should withdraw the regulations, as they are different from what it promised and cannot ensure the sustainability of the pension fund, Chang said, adding that it is not to late to revise them.

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