Civil servant retirement fund sees highest profit in 3 years

By Linger Liu ,The China Post

TAIPEI, Taiwan — The civil servant retirement fund committee said yesterday that the fund recorded profits of NT$29.8 billion in 2012, the biggest gain in three years.

The 6.2-percent year-on-year increase was due to a rebound in the domestic and global stock markets in 2012, the committee said.

According to the committee, at the end of 2011 the fund had a deficit of NT$28.4 billion due to the earthquake in Japan and the eurozone debt crisis. It was the biggest deficit since the global financial crisis in 2008 when the fund had a deficit of NT$86 billion, according to a statement issued by the committee.

The strong annual growth and profit-making last year evened out the losses from the 2011 eurozone debt crisis, the statement said. It said it had earlier expected the fund to achieve growth of up to 3.7 percent for 2012, and the 6.2 percent was much better than this forecast.

The committee said that the fund made around NT$9.8 billion profit through the domestic stock market, achieving growth of 12.5 percent. At the same time the committee said that it will have a future focus on the global financial market to reallocate the fund’s assets as well as to step up its risk control procedures to possibly increase profit from the global market.

Unemployed Should Seek Gov’t Support: CLA The Council of Labor Affairs (CLA) will cancel its temporary contract workers program for Chinese New Year due to public criticism of the CLA’s performance regarding the unemployment rate.

The CLA suggested that local governments should consider having their own individual projects to support local unemployed workers, as the CLA is a national body and cannot be held responsible for the employment situation in every county and city. The unemployment rate hit a high of 5.85 percent in 2009 due to the global financial crisis, prompting the CLA in 2010 to start a special program to offer temporary contract jobs during Chinese New Year to help middle-aged unemployed laborers.

In 2012 the project mainly focused on helping the homeless, the council said. The project was practiced in 2010 and 2011 due to the high employment rates in both years — 5.21 percent and 4.39 percent, respectively — said the CLA.

The council said the unemployment situation is not as severe compared to the last three years, so there are not as many workers seeking temporary jobs through the program this year.

No Job Program this Year Local CLA branches have been offering services, such as helping single parents and the long-term unemployed to find six-month temporary jobs.

The CLA said that it wishes to stabilize the income of the unemployed by securing them mid-term to long-term jobs.

The Chinese New Year program’s jobs can only last around 10 days, which would not greatly help the unemployed’s financial situation.

Statistics have shown that the number of temporary contract workers for Chinese New Year was 5,331 in 2010, 3,144 in 2011 and only 79 workers in 2012.