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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

No decision yet on military pension reform: MND

ROC Central News Agency

2017/03/06 23:00:44

Taipei, March 6 (CNA) The Ministry of National Defense (MND) said Monday that no decision has been made on how to reform the pension system for military personnel, denying reports that the 18 percent interest rate on savings accounts will be phased out within six years.

The government has already decided that the 18 percent interest earned by teachers and civil servants on retirement accounts will be phased out in six years, but it left the military to come up with its own plan to reform the nearly bankrupt military pension system.

Some media have reported that the same approach will be followed with military personnel, and that the only retirement "advantage" military personnel will have over other public employees is a higher "income replacement" ratio.

The MND said in a statement, however, that the "unique nature" of military personnel's jobs will be considered when drafting its proposal to reform the military pension system.

The reform must also seek to "reassure soldiers" of the proper benefits due to them as well as to ensure national security, according to the MND.

It stressed that the government will keep fighting for "reasonable benefits" for active and retired military personnel as well as their family members and said any reform will be pursued in a "mild and gradual" manner.

The military is being treated separately from other public employees on the pension reform issue despite having a pension system that is in deeper trouble than that run for teachers or civil servants because of a decision by President Tsai Ing-wen.

The president pledged on the eve of Armed Forces Day on Sept. 2, 2016, that the government would give special consideration to military personnel on the pension reform issue and would not accept any attempt to stigmatize the military.

In a meeting with veteran affairs officials in August, 2016, Tsai suggested that any shortfall in paying for retired soldiers' pensions would be covered by government budgets.

(By Hsieh Chia-chen and S.C.Chang)

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