A new baseline pension should be passed to guarantee the rights of women and other disadvantaged groups, rights advocates said yesterday, as the Legislative Yuan prepares to begin an extraordinary session next week to address pension reform.
More than 20 people from civic groups such as the Awakening Foundation and Taiwan Higher Education Union gathered outside the side gates of the legislative compound, calling for retirement guarantees and the realization of redistributive justice.
“The current pension system is mainly built on the premise that people will be employed, and receive promotions and wage increases until they retire. However, that premise is male-oriented and ignores the fact that women often have gaps in their employment, because they are forced to act as caregivers to children, older people and disabled people,” Awakening Foundation secretary-general Chyn Yu-rong (覃玉蓉) said.
Women on average receive only 66 to 88 percent of the national labor insurance payments men receive upon retirement, depending on the payment system used, Chyn said.
The national labor insurance is divided into “old” and “new” systems, with workers using the “old system” allowed to withdraw a lump sum upon retirement.
There needs to be a minimum monthly payment of NT$8,000 available to all citizens upon retirement to avoid replicating the inequities of the workplace, she said, blaming the prevalence of employment gaps among women on the government’s failure to establish public systems to care for children and older people.
“If we put all of the burden of providing for older people on individuals and families, where is the guaranteed economic security going to come from for disadvantaged groups like family caregivers, nontraditional labor, part-time workers, single parent families and those who become unemployed during middle age?” Awakening Foundation senior researcher Tseng Chao-yuan (曾昭媛) said, adding that statistics showed that 44.6 percent of female senior citizens receive their support mainly from their children and grandchildren.
More than 46 percent of retirees only receive a monthly pension from the National Pension Fund — which averages NT$3,791 — rather than the Labor Insurance Fund — which averages NT$16,179 — because they do not possess the necessary seniority in terms of years worked to be eligible for the more substantial payment, she said.
AGGRESSION: China’s latest intrusions set a new benchmark for its ‘gray zone’ tactics and possibly a new pattern that it would attempt to normalize, a researcher said China’s latest military exercises represent a new challenge to Taiwan’s legal authority to demarcate its borders in the Taiwan Strait, a defense expert said, adding that the fleets in the latest exercises were likely the most powerful the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) ever assembled. The PLA conducted military exercises from Sunday last week to 6am on Friday, which encompassed large swathes of the western Pacific, including the Taiwan Strait and waters off the Philippines and Guam, National Policy Foundation associate research fellow Chieh Chung (揭仲) said on Friday. The Ministry of National Defense said that it detected 70 warship and 162 aircraft
DOMESTIC MARKET: To protect the livelihoods of local egg farmers, the government adopted a new method for releasing imported eggs, the agriculture minister said More than 54 million imported eggs will be disposed, as their expiration date has passed, Minister of Agriculture Chen Chi-chung (陳吉仲) said yesterday. Chen made the remarks at a news conference in Taipei, explaining the flow of imported eggs following recent controversies regarding the products. The ministry introduced a special egg import program to address a nationwide egg shortage earlier this year. However, controversies have risen in recent weeks. These included an accusation that the government helped some egg importing companies over others, eggs imported from Brazil that had an incorrect expiration date, and egg shipments from Brazil that were found
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Thousands of bottles of Sriracha have been returned or destroyed after the discovery of excessive sulfur dioxide, a bleaching agent, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced on Tuesday. About 12,600 bottles totaling 9,991.8kg of the hot sauce imported from the US by Emporium Corp (河洛企業) were flagged at the border for containing illegal levels of sulfur dioxide, the FDA said in its regular border inspection announcement. Inspectors discovered 0.5g per kilogram of the common bleaching agent and preservative, higher than the 0.03g permitted, it said. As it is the first time within six months the product has been flagged, Sriracha products from