Jiang to speak with KMT lawmakers on pension reform bill

The China Post news staff

TAIPEI, Taiwan — Premier Jiang Yi-huah is seeking consolidation within the ruling Kuomintang (KMT) over the Cabinet’s pension reform bill, as some of its lawmakers have vowed to put forth their own versions.

Jiang and John Kuan, head of the Examination Yuan, which governs the recruitment of civil servants, are expected to jointly meet with KMT lawmakers tomorrow and Tuesday to understand their views on the retirement annuity reform, the Central News Agency reported yesterday. The reform is a difficult and complicated task as it covers the pensions for both civil servants and laborers, said Lin Hung-chih, chief of the KMT’s Central Policy Committee.

But as it affects nearly the entire nation, it must be done as quickly as possible, he said, adding that Jiang and Kuan’s communicating with the KMT lawmakers and accepting their opinions will facilitate and accelerate the process. At least two KMT lawmakers have vowed to launch their own reform bills, and the main opposition Democratic Progressive Party will also put forth its own.

KMT Legislator Sun Ta-chien said if the Cabinet does not listen to him, he will propose his own annuity bill, which will call for a dynamic mechanism reflecting changing economic conditions. The country’s economy is in a weak condition, and it will be too harsh on its people if the changes are too vigorous and immediate, he said. The reform must allow for regular evaluations and gradual adjustments, he said.

KMT Legislator Liao Cheng-ching said his proposal will seek to narrow the gap between the laborers and civil servants so that switching jobs between the two groups can be easier. The Democratic Progressive Party plans to submit its bill after the Cabinet version is sent to the Legislature in April, said Legislator Lee Chun-yi. Lee said the party has laid down its principles for the reform, and he is working to incorporate these principles into the details of the reform.