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September 25, 2017

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Ma to hold pension fund reforms meeting today

TAIPEI--President Ma Ying-jeou will meet with the heads of the Cabinet, the Legislature and the Examination Yuan today to discuss pension fund reforms.

The division of responsibilities concerning pension fund reforms between the Cabinet and the Examination Yuan, as well as the timeline of the reforms, will be decided at the meeting, according to sources familiar with the matter yesterday.

Premier Sean Chen and Examination Yuan President Kuan Chung will brief Ma on their respective plans at the meeting, which will also be attended by Legislative Speaker Wang Jin-pyng.

Heads of the Council of Labor Affairs, the Council for Economic Planning and Development and the Ministry of Civil Service, as well as Kuomintang (KMT) caucus whip Wu Yu-sheng and KMT Policy Committee Chief Lin Hung-chih will participate in the meeting as well, according to the sources.

Ma will hold a joint press conference with Chen, Kuan and Wang after the meeting's conclusion to brief the public on their discussions.

Wang told reporters Tuesday the Legislature will play a passive role at Wednesday's meeting.

However, he added that he will take an active role in conducting public hearings and symposiums after the proposed amendments from the Cabinet and the Examination Yuan on pension funds are sent to the Legislature.

On whether a national affairs convention will be held in response to calls from leaders of the opposition Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), Wang said it will be faster for a meeting to be held between Ma and senior officials instead of a national affairs convention because such a convention involves lengthy administrative procedures.

Former DPP Chairwoman Tsai Ing wen reiterated Tuesday the importance for a national affairs convention to be convened, adding that the bankruptcy crisis of the country's pension fund system cannot be solved simply by a closed-door meeting between government officials.

Also Tuesday, Cabinet spokeswoman Cheng Li-wun said the Cabinet currently has no plan to integrate the five government funds — the Civil Servants Pension Fund, the Postal Savings Fund, the Labor Insurance Fund, the Labor Pension Fund and National Pension Fund — into a single "sovereignty fund."

The remarks came on the heels of the Minister of Finance Chang Sheng-ford's recent proposal that such a fund should be established.

He also proposed that the fund should be managed by an independent institution to avoid mismanagement.

Taiwan's major government funds incurred total losses of NT$89.8 billion (US$3.09 billion) last year, according to DPP Legislator Ho Hsin-chun.

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