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'Rule of 90' may not apply to dangerous civil service jobs

TAIPEI, Taiwan -- Public servants whose work is deemed dangerous by relevant authorities may be exempt from the planned “rule of 90” retirement regulation, a Ministry of Civil Service (MOCS) official said yesterday.

The aforementioned rule refers to the number of years public servants have to work combined with their age before they can retire and receive full monthly pensions.

Taiwan Solidarity Union lawmaker Hsu Chung-hsin (許忠信) said that although President Ma Ying-jeou's reform policies are headed in the right direction, the pace of reform is too slow.

With regard to labor insurance premium rates, Hsu said that he agrees with the government's plan to raise it to 13 percent.

On the other hand, the legislator said that in terms of civil servants' pensions, the rule of 90 needs to be implemented immediately without discrimination, and that the 18-percent preferential interest rate should be decreased to 8 percent.

In response, Chen Shao-yuan (陳紹元), deputy head of the MOCS retirement department, said that the rate will be lowered to 12 percent in 2016, and that it will be gradually reduced to no higher than 9 percent, which is less than 1 percent above than the figure Hsu proposes.

Police, firefighters and medics should be exempt from the rule of 90, because they are frequently under a lot of psychological pressure, and because they require stamina, Chen said.

Hsu, on the other hand, said there are questions as to whether tax inspectors and mountain patrolmen also require stamina.

In response, Chen said that whether a person's work is dangerous should be determined by the relevant authorities, and that there should be a degree of flexibility.

The Forestry Bureau's patrolmen may require good stamina, which is related to age, and if the Council of Agriculture considers their work to be dangerous, they may be eligible for exemption, Chen explained.

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