DPP supports abolishing controversial pension bonus

By Chris Wang  /  Staff reporter

Tue, Oct 23, 2012 - Page 3

The Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) yesterday said it supported reforming the controversial year-end bonus policy for retired government employees on the grounds of social justice, but hoped to minimize the reforms’ impact.

At a meeting, DPP Chairman Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌), caucus convener Ker Chien-ming (柯建銘), lawmakers and party officials reaffirmed the party’s support for suspending or abolishing the bonus, DPP spokesperson Lin Chun-hsien (林俊憲) said in a press release.

The reforms are supported by a DPP survey that showed that 79.7 percent of respondents said giving retired government employees a one-and-a-half-month bonus a year was unfair, against 15.8 percent who said it was fair, Lin said.

A bonus of more than NT$20 billion (US$683.9 million) is distributed to retired government officials across the country annually, despite the bonus not being backed by any law.

However, the DPP also submitted a “three noes” appeal hoping to minimize the impact of the reform.

The party hoped that the reform would not be seen as directed at specific groups — civil servants, educators and military personnel — and that it would not affect retirees who are financially vulnerable.

The third “no” was that the central government should not create multiple pension systems and evade responsibility for the issue by relegating the matter to local governments.

Taipei City Councilor Liang Wen-chieh (梁文傑) and DPP Taipei City Office Director Chuang Ruei-hsiung (莊瑞雄) had different ideas.

Liang and Chuang proposed having local administrations and councils in DPP-governed cities and counties decide whether the bonus would be paid before the Executive Yuan writes the bonus into law.

Hung Chih-kun (洪智坤) has been commissioned by Liang and Chuang to submit the proposal to the party’s weekly Central Executive Committee meeting tomorrow.