Tsai calls for talks to fix ‘inequality’ of pension programs

DISTRIBUTIVE ISSUE::The DPP heavyweight said that the government had to urgently discuss the unequal distribution of the nation’s resources

By Chris Wang  /  Staff reporter

Wed, Oct 24, 2012 - Page 3

Given the various controversies over the nation’s pension programs that have arisen recently, it is time for a thorough inter-party review on the retirement program to be held, former Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) chairperson Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) said yesterday.

“The recent controversies surrounding the Labor Pension Fund and the year-end bonus granted to retired government employees have highlighted the issue of fairness in the nation’s distribution of its national resources,” Tsai said in a statement.

The former DPP presidential candidate called for the staging of national conferences — modeled on the Conference on Sustaining Taiwan’s Economic Development and the Conference on National Affairs held previously — which could be used to influence government policies and promote reform by engaging political parties and people from all sectors of society.

“Despite the government being obliged to treat every one of its citizens fairly and reasonably, people have been treated unequally in various respects — in this case regarding their post-retirement welfare — because of their occupations and identities,” she added.

The lack of fairness and justice could spark discontent or worse, social instability if people’s livelihoods and well-being are threated, Tsai said.

Tsai’s office yesterday said that the former DPP chairperson has never received a year-end bonus or monthly pension since she retired from public office in 2007.

The office added that Tsai was not qualified to receive those benefits because she retired before the age of 55, making her ineligible to be included in the program.