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Civil servants' pension to exceed NT$1.7 tril. over the next 30 years

The China Post news staff--The cost of pension payments for retired civil servants in the coming 30 years will amount to NT$1.72 trillion, which may produce a debt of NT$702.1 billion for the central government and NT$1.01 trillion for local governments, according to statistics calculated by the Ministry of Civil Service under the Examination Yuan.

The government began reforms of the civil servant retirement system in 2011. Reforms included increasing the retirement age — which is an aggregate of the person's age and the number of years of service — to 85, up from 75. Government employees must reach this retirement age to be eligible to receive a monthly pension.

In 2011 the government also scrapped regulation that allowed extra pension for those who retire voluntarily at the age of 55.

Prior to the reform, the Ministry of Civil Service estimated in 2010 that the cost of the civil servant retirement pension would amount to NT$1.77 trillion in the next 30 years. This figure is NT$53.6 billion higher than the latest calculations, which are based on the reformed retirement system. These figures, according to ministry officials, indicate that the reform has eased the government's financial burden.

The civil servant retirement pension cost in Taiwan is still relatively higher than the equivalent in other countries. The Ministry of Civil Service is mapping out new reform measures to be submitted to the Examination Yuan for approval.

A ranking official with the Examination Yuan said that the government's expense budget for the coming 30 years will be around NT$70 trillion, and therefore the government will be able to afford the NT$1.7 trillion cost of the pension system.

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