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Bonus for retired civil servants challenged

TAIPEI--Premier Sean Chen said Tuesday that he has asked the Cabinet and the Examination Yuan to check the legal basis for giving year-end bonuses to retired government employees who are already receiving monthly pensions from the government.

Chen was responding to opposition lawmakers who questioned the legal basis for budgeting NT$20.2 billion (US$691 million) annually to pay year-end bonuses equivalent to 1.5 months' salary to retired military personnel, civil servants and public school teachers.

Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) lawmaker Lin Shu-fen said at a legislative session Tuesday that the budget was not legal, and she demanded that the Cabinet cancel the benefit in light of the economic burdens faced by salaried workers in the private sector.

Chen said he has instructed the Cabinet's legal affairs committee and the Examination Yuan, which oversees benefits for civil servants, to study the legal aspects of the issue.

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