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The current debt behind various national pensions have accumulated to NT$ 18 trillion (approximately US$ 550 billion) and the huge deficit in public service pension for retired military officials, civil servants and teachers might lead to bankruptcy.

On September 9, Fair Tax Taiwan, The National Federation of Teachers Unions, Taiwan Labour Front and ten more other organizations have established a pension reform alliance and calls on all political parties to not provide any manifesto regarding pension or allowance increase before the election. The alliance also requests the next government to initiate a negotiation platform in order to fully integrate and innovate each type of pension system within six months after the next election.

Liberty Times reports, the alliance proposed four demands that include:

1. No pension increase manifesto before the election.
2. No avoiding this issue after the election.
3. Establish a negotiation platform for reformation.
4. Keep every discussion transparent and open to the public.

The alliance will respectively ask each political party and all presidential candidates to declare their stands on the issue, and will request the next president to invite opposite parties and unions of soldiers, civic servants, teachers, laborers, peasants and other related groups gathering on the platform to seek a solution regarding the national pension issue.

Tsai Ing-wen: summon political negotiation conference regarding the national pension

UDN reports, on July 15, the DPP presidential candidate Tsai Ing-wen said that the national pension reformation should be the process of national unity, not confrontation and division. She brings up a three-step reformation package:

1. Assemble the National Pension Reform Committee for proposing reformation acts.
2. Summon a political negotiation conference regarding the national pension to shape national consensus on this issue.
3. Propose amendments to the Legislative Yuan based on national consensus.

Hung Shiu-chu: Reform high-level civil servant pension and improve the investment performance of the funds.

Hung, presidential candidate of KMT, also proposed several directions for pension reformation in July. UDN reports, she proposes to reform the pensions for high-level civil servants and to improve the investment performance of the pension funds. She will not easily lower the retirement age for civil servants in order to not marginalize the employment space for youth.

Spokesperson of Hung’s office You Zi-xiang points out, the pension reformation is complicated and it should be conducted through talks between political parties and labor groups. To reform the pension correctly is much more important than to reform quickly. The direction of the reformation will be not to influence the pensions for the low-level civil servants because they are taking pensions as their basic living allowance. But the proportion of the pension for high-level civil servants should be adjusted. You also says that experts will be invited to help modify the pension calculating formula with minimal impact on the low-level civil servants.

The other reformation direction of Hung is to improve the investment performance of various government funds, such as the labor fund and the corporate pension plan that previously was said to be in deficit. Hung advocates to improve the investment performance in order to protect the citizens’ pensions.

James Soong: The pensions for high-level public servants cost too much

Liberty Times reports, James Soong said in a recent interview that the salary for central officials is relatively higher than the local officials. Soong says he retired as governor and can get as much as NT$ 70,000 (approximately US$ 2,141) per month. The public service pension management system should consider the financial situation of the country and redesign the money distribution between the central and local government. He points out that the problem of the national pension is that the retired high-level civil servants receive too much.

Translated by June
Edited by Olivia Yang

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