Wed, Jul 04, 2018 - Page 3 News List

Teachers to file appeal over pensions

By Ann Maxon  /  Staff reporter

More than 10,000 retired public-school teachers in Taipei and New Taipei City are filing for an administrative appeal with the government over the new pension system, which they say is unconstitutional, the National Federation of Education Unions said yesterday.

Under the system, which took effect on Sunday, the pensions of the majority of civil servants, public-school teachers and retired military personnel have been cut, while a preferential 18 percent interest rate on public-sector employees’ savings would be phased out over two to 10 years, depending on the profession.

The Act Governing Retirement, Severance and Bereavement Compensation for the Teaching and Other Staff Members of Public Schools (公立學校教職員退休資遣撫卹條例), passed in June last year, stipulates that a preferential 18 percent interest rate for public-school teachers would be reduced to 9 percent in two years and abolished by 2020, federation director-general Huang Yao-nan (黃耀南) said.

“However, on June 11, many teachers were notified by the government that their preferential 18 percent interest rate would be reduced to zero on July 1. That is entirely different from what the public was made to believe based on the way the Democratic Progressive Party administration described the reform. The government lied,” Huang said.

In addition, many retired teachers found that their monthly pension payments have been reduced to less than those paid to retirees who worked fewer years than them, he added.

“These things made us wonder if the government calculated their pensions incorrectly,” Huang said.

“We strongly suggest that the government publish the calculation formula and principles so that retired teachers can know whether they are being paid correctly,” he added.

Meanwhile, the federation is to take a series of actions to help teachers file for an administrative appeal over the new system, which they believe contravened the Constitution and the principle of legitimate expectation by retroactively cutting the pensions of those who have already retired, he said.

While the federation is helping more than 10,000 retired public-school teachers file for the appeal, Huang estimated that 70,000 more retired teachers and 80,000 retired civil servants would do the same, based on what he had heard from other groups.

The federation expects a response from the government regarding their appeal by the end of the year, he said, adding that, if necessary, it would file for a repeal or constitutional interpretation.

The group is later today to formally file for an administrative appeal, attorney Liu Chun-yi (劉君毅) said, adding that the government should release information on the investment performance of the pension fund and how it has been managing the profits from such investments.

It should also apologize to retired public employees for portraying them as parasites and freeloaders that live on generous government pensions, he added.

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