Cabinet schedules over 100 hearings on pension reform

By Shih Hsiu-chuan  /  Staff reporter

Thu, Nov 29, 2012 - Page 3

The Executive Yuan has scheduled more than 100 public hearings to solicit views on how to address problems plaguing the nation’s various pension systems before it, in conjunction with the Examination Yuan, comes up with reform proposals in January, Vice Premier Jiang Yi-hua (江宜樺) said yesterday.

Jiang, who leads a task force on the issue, said the Cabinet has also set up an ad hoc office staffed by five officials from the Council for Economic Planning and Development, the Ministry of National Defense, the Council of Labor Affairs, the Ministry of Education and the Directorate-General of Personnel Administration.

Next month, the Executive Yuan would adopt a bottom-up and community-level approach to consult public opinions from different sectors of society to serve as a reference in formulating reform proposals, he said.

President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) last Wednesday demanded that proposals to reform the nation’s various pension programs for labor, civil servants, military personnel, farmers and the National Pension Insurance Fund, which covers citizens who are not covered by other social insurance funds, be put forward in January.

“On the issue of pension reform, we cannot work behind closed doors. We have to first understand how people in different occupations think about the issue. We do not have any pre-established stance and are open to all ideas,” he said.

Jiang said the Executive Yuan has received positive responses from the caucuses of the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT), the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), the Taiwan Solidarity Union, the People First Party and independent lawmakers to its request that Cabinet officials sit down with them to discuss the issue.

Ma called a meeting attended by Premier Sean Chen (陳冲), Legislative Speaker Wang Jin-pyng (王金平) and Examination Yuan President John Kuan (關中) to set a timetable for the reform a week ago after he rejected a proposal by the DPP that a national affairs conference be held to deal with the issue.