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Pension fund now beyond creditor's reach: Legislature

TAIPEI, Taiwan -- Amendments to the Labor Insurance Act and National Pension Act cleared the house after the third reading in the Legislature yesterday, forbidding creditor to seize pension of retired laborers.

Many people rely on labor pension for their retirement expenses. However, many people lost their pension to creditors right after they received it, as the pension was served as a provisional attachment.

With this new regulation, people may now open separate accounts specifically for pension fund at financial institutions, and the fund may not serve as provisional attachment, lien, or collateral, and for forced payment.

With this new regulation taking effect, upon receiving their pension payment, their pension will not flow directly into creditors' accounts.

Lou Wu-hu (羅五湖), manager of the Bureau of Labor Insurance, said that pension fund should not be seized under any circumstances, as it is reserved to provide basic livelihood for the elderly.

Under the old regulation, as the pension was mixed with other savings under the same account, it allowed creditor to seize it for forced payment. Now that pension is separated from regular savings in a different account, it is safe from creditor's reach.

A Law to Protect the Disadvantaged

Some legislators are concerned that many elderly people lose their pension to creditor upon retirement, thus the amendment proposal was made.

The amendment was initiated by Kuomintang Legislator Wu Yu-sheng (吳育昇), who said that the new regulation will ensure financial security for the disadvantaged group. His proposal was supported by legislators across political parties.

In addition, adjustments are made so that the new regulation will also apply to foreigners who marry with locals, ensuring their livelihood after retirement. Up to 14,000 foreigners and 17,000 Chinese mainlanders are expected to benefit from the new regulation.

Wu said that there are 100 people who have their pension serving as provisional attachment every month. In order to prevent their pension flowing into creditor, they requested the Bureau of Labor Insurance to issue separate checks for pension payment. 4,600 applications have been made for this purpose.

While existing laws stipulate that if debtors have trouble making ends meet, they may submit application to prevent pension being seized. However, since most of the disadvantaged group are not acquainted with legal affairs, they failed to make the application to protect themselves.

As a result, creditor exploited all their means and even hire debt collection agencies to collect the money.

Nevertheless, the amendment raised some concern as the law is not designed specifically for the disadvantage group, and it is feared that some people may take advantage of this regulation to avoid paying back money.

1 Comment
December 26, 2013    curtisakbar@
"In addition, adjustments are made so that the new regulation will also apply to foreigners who marry with locals,"

What about APRC holders that have remained "single" or married to a non-ROC citizen? Will their pensions be "stolen"?
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