Sat, Jan 18, 2020 - Page 3 News List

State-owned firm age proposal debated

By Sean Lin  /  Staff reporter

Lawmakers yesterday failed to agree on a proposal to make exceptions to the upper age limit of 70 for people serving as the chair of state-owned or partially state-owned companies.

It was the second day of cross-caucus negotiations over the general budget and related motions, among which the proposal sponsored by Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) caucus whip Ker Chien-ming (柯建銘) to change a resolution passed during a Finance Committee meeting which had yet to take effect.

“The chair of state-run or formerly state-run enterprises must not be older than 65 at the time of their appointment. If they are older than 65 after taking office, their appointment must be approved by the Executive Yuan annually; however, they must not be older than 70,” the resolution read.

Ker’s proposal sought an exception to the resolution, stating that “recruitment of renowned academics or people with outstanding professional achievements may be exempted from this rule as long as such appointments have been approved by the Executive Yuan.”

Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) caucus vice secretary-general Arthur Chen (陳宜民) opposed the proposal, saying that the Finance Committee had reached a consensus that appointees must not be older than 70 and the proposal would override the committee’s decision.

New Power Party Legislator Jang Show-ling (鄭秀玲) said the proposal would promote an “old boys’ network,” adding that young people should be given the opportunity to assume the positions.

Due to a longer life expectancy, many nations have raised the retirement age from 65 to 68, while it is still set at 65 in Taiwan, Legislative Speaker Su Jia-chyuan (蘇嘉全) said.

Jang had proposed adding a provision to the proposal to set the age limit at 80, but DPP caucus director-general Kuan Bi-ling (管碧玲) said such language would border on “age discrimination.”

Jang then suggested setting the limit at 75, but Chen again voiced his objection, saying the proposed age limit contradicted the recommendation of the committee.

He recommended setting aside Ker’s proposal for further deliberation on Monday, a motion agreed by Su.

Additional reporting by CNA

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