Premier says gov't will ensure Labor Insurance Fund remains
By Ann Yu, The China PostTAIPEI, Taiwan -- The government will make sure that the Labor Insurance Fund will not go bankrupt, Premier Sean Chen said yesterday at a labor policy forum.
January 6, 2013, 12:01 am TWN
According to Chen, Taiwan now faces the challenges of a decreasing birth rate and an aging population, adding that the reform for old-age annuity programs was inevitable.
The Council of Labor Affairs (CLA) yesterday met with industry and labor representatives to discuss the nation's retirement programs.
Some 20 laid-off factory workers staged a protest outside the forum to express their dissatisfaction with the government.
Labor representatives expressed their anger at the government over the state of the Labor Insurance Fund, arguing that the government had made a misjudgment in allowing trust funds to handle the investments which lead to billions of New Taiwan dollars in losses.
Workers also complained that in the past labor insurance covered their medical bills, but that they now needed to pay health insurance, too.
Chen explained that most nations in the world are also facing challenges related to the reform of retirement systems, since an aging population is a worldwide phenomenon.
“This is a problem that we can't hide from. But now isn't too late, we can still manage to do something,” he said.
Chen noted that the government was working toward a system that can sustain this generation as well as future generations.
Vice Premier Jiang Yi-huah said that the issue of reform is beyond overcoming financial difficulties; one of the most important things is to come up with a sustainable system.
“There are many aspects that we need to consider, such as the differences between jobs, costs, how to tweak adjustments gradually et cetera,” Jiang said.
He added that a report on pension reform, which was originally slated to come out in mid-January, would not be published until the end of the month.
“The Premier is not looking for a project that meets deadlines. He wants a manageable project that can effectively change our situation now, which is very time consuming,” Jiang added.