Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) lawmakers on Thursday urged labor insurance reforms after the Cabinet announced a plan to inject NT$45 billion (US$1.42 billion) to bolster Taiwan’s insurance funds.
Labor pension funds had lost NT$320.4 billion as of last month, which suggests mismangement, KMT caucus whip William Tseng (曾銘宗) told a news conference at the legislature.
The Ministry of Labor should explain why the funds were used to stabilize the stock market earlier this year, a decision that likely contributed to the funds’ woes, he said, adding that the National Audit Office should investigate.
Photo: George Tsorng, Taipei Times
If the government does not initiate pension reforms, NT$100 billion would be needed every year to shore up the funds, he said.
The labor retirement reserve fund’s yield loss is equivalent to a reduction of NT$17,000 from the account of the average pensioner, KMT deputy secretary-general Hsieh Yi-fong (謝衣?) said.
The new pension fund reported a deficit on only three other occasions — a loss of 6.05 percent in the 2008 recession, 3.94 percent in the 2011 European debt crisis and 0.09 percent in 2015, she said.
The Executive Yuan and the Ministry of Labor should act before December, she added.
“Do not lie by blaming the situation on falling stock prices,” Hsieh said, adding that the 6.28 percent yield loss experienced this year is higher than in 2008 and 2011.
Plummeting stock and bond prices have caused a NT$320.46 billion decline in the yield of the country’s labor pension funds, which have a combined value of NT$5.48 trillion as of August, the Bureau of Labor Funds wrote in a report on Monday.
A new labor retirement reserve fund valued at NT$3.51 trillion has taken a 6.2 percent loss in yields while the previous fund valued at NT$993.5 billion lost 7.44 percent in yields, it said.
The bureau said it would aim to better diversify investment portfolios and monitor financial headwinds more diligently.
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