The legislature’s Judiciary and Organic Laws and Statutes Committee is tomorrow to begin reviewing proposed pension reforms for public-school teachers.
The issues to be addressed include the age at which retired elementary and junior-high school teachers start receiving pensions and whether retired teachers working in part-time jobs should forfeit their pensions.
The National Federation of Teachers’ Unions has been lobbying legislative caucuses to lower the age at which retired teachers can receive pensions to 55. The Pension Reform Committee advocates a minimum age of 60.
In the past, teachers began their careers in their early 20s, but teachers now mostly start work aged 27 or 28, Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Legislator Lee Li-feng (李麗芬) said.
According to the existing pension system, public-school teachers must either work 30 years or reach 60 following 25 years of service before they are allowed to retire, which means that most teachers would now be nearing 60 when they retire, she said.
Although some parents are concerned that elderly teachers might be unfit for the job, she said that teachers considered old can pass on their valuable experience to younger teachers.
As to whether retired teachers holding part-time teaching jobs should have to forfeit their pensions, Ministry of Civil Service official Lu Ming-tai (呂明泰) said retired teachers who have fixed class hours can have their pensions affected under the current system.
Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Legislator Ko Chih-en (柯志恩) said that retired teachers should still receive the portion of their pensions funded by government-made investments using monthly deductions from their salaries, which makes up 35 percent of their full pensions, adding that part-time teachers do not block teachers seeking full-time positions from finding work.
The pension rules should not be too lax or they would defeat the purpose of reform, DPP Legislator Wang Jung-chang (王榮璋) said.
Going by the ministry’s proposed rules, if retired professors who teach for six hours per week make more than the minimum wage they would have to forfeit their pensions, co-convener of the meeting and DPP Legislator Tuan Yi-kang (段宜康) said, adding that the issue of pensions paid to retired teachers working part-time requires further discussion.
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