President to meet KMT lawmakers next week over pension reform plans

By Mo Yan-chih  /  Staff reporter

Fri, Dec 07, 2012 - Page 3

With Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) lawmakers divided on the Cabinet’s proposed pension system reforms, President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) is expected to seek their support for the reform efforts during a meeting next week.

KMT Secretary-General Tseng Yung-chuan (曾永權) yesterday met with KMT legislators in the Legislative Yuan to discuss the Cabinet’s proposal.

As the legislature prepares to start negotiations on the government’s general budget, the KMT, the administration and the party caucus should reach a consensus on the pension issue, he said.

Ma, who is KMT chairman, has reiterated his support for the Executive Yuan’s proposal, and insisted that the government must push pension system reform because the nation’s financial crisis will worsen if the current pension system is maintained.

In October, Premier Sean Chen (陳冲) proposed to reduce the number of recipients of a year-end bonus given to more than 445,000 retired military personnel, civil servants, public-school teachers and employees of state-owned enterprises.

He said the money should only be given to retirees or the families of deceased retirees who receive a monthly pension of less than NT$20,000 and families of retirees who were killed, injured or disabled in wars or on military exercises.

Chen’s proposal would slash the budget for year-end payments to a 19th of its original size — about NT$20.2 billion (US$697 million) — and the number of eligible recipients to about 40,000.

However, some KMT members have said they will not support the proposal on the legislative floor.

The KMT said the party is seeking to understand party lawmakers’ positions even as the Executive Yuan continues to explore ways to systematize the pension plan.

Tseng said the party caucus would meet next week to seek consensus on the issue.

The KMT and the Presidential Office will arrange meetings between Ma and KMT legislators to discuss the issue.