Fri, Jun 22, 2018 - Page 3 News List

KMT vows to challenge pension reforms

By Jonathan Chin  /  Staff writer, with CNA

Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) legislative caucus members hold a news conference in Taipei yesterday to criticize the government’s pension reforms.

Photo: Liao Chen-huei, Taipei Times

The Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) is to challenge the constitutionality of the government’s military pension reform act at the Council of Grand Justices, party chairman Wu Den-yih (吳敦義) said yesterday.

The Legislative Yuan on Wednesday night passed amendments to the Act of Military Service for Officers and Noncommissioned Officers of the Armed Forces (陸海空軍軍官士官服役條例) in a vote split along partisan lines.

The act is expected to take effect on July 1, alongside changes to the pension schemes for civil servants and public-school teachers.

Wu issued a statement to blast Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) lawmakers for passing the amendments “roughly and in the dead of night.”

“Social unrest and chaos” are to ensue from the party’s decision to ram the pension reform plan through the legislature, Wu said, adding that it must “take absolute responsibility” for the legislation’s effects.

The cutbacks to pension payouts and benefits violates the right to property as stipulated by Article 15 of the Constitution and the legal principles of making no retroactive laws and legitimate expectation, he said.

The KMT and its organizations at the county and city levels are to facilitate raising constitutional challenges to the pension reforms, he said.

“The KMT must defend the rights and dignity of retired public employees,” Wu said.

The government-operated Public Service Pension, Postal Savings, Labor Insurance and Labor Pension funds have been plagued by low rates of return, he said, adding that the DPP must do better.

As of April, the Public Service Pension Fund made a profit of NT$442 million (US$14.59 million), or a rate of return of 0.082 percent, while the Labor Pension Fund was 0.41 percent in the red, he said.

The government should alleviate fiscal pressures by improving the performance of pension funds, instead of transferring economic pain to veterans, civil servants, police officers and teachers in the name of reform, he said.

The Singaporean model of pension fund management should be considered as a way to improve the funds’ performance, he said.

The DPP should prioritize economic development and social harmony, as bettering the nation’s economic performance would raise all boats, Wu said, calling on it to suspend “political strife and squabbling that are detrimental to the nation.”

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