Taipei, Taiwan is mulling restrictions that would stop Taiwanese citizens who live abroad from being able to collect a national pension after registering for benefits only a year or two before reaching the age of 65.
From 2008 to 2016, there were 4,508 expatriates who registered their households in Taiwan at the age of 63 or 64 and began collecting a pension at 65, according to government statistics.
The 4,508 beneficiaries represented less than 1 percent of the 790,000 people receiving a pension under the system, but their payouts, which range from NT$3,000 to NT$3,800 a month, still cost the national pension insurance system about NT$200 million in 2016.
Shang TungFu the head of the Department of Social Insurance under the Ministry of Health and Welfare, said some believe the arrangement is unfair to citizens who have paid premiums into the system since it was launched in 2008, and changes may be in the works.
The government, he said, is mulling certain restrictions on expatriates who are entitled to receive a monthly pension despite having enrolled in the program for only a year or two.
Lawmakers have also proposed revisions to the program that would require expatriates to have stayed in Taiwan for no less than 183 days a year for the past three years to be eligible for benefits, Shang said.
Revisions will not likely be made, however, until a social consensus on the issue has been forged, he argued.
The governmentrun national pension insurance program, which has been in effect since October 1, 2008, covers individuals in the 2565 age group who are not enrolled in national labor insurance systems for public servants, military personnel, teachers, workers and farmers.
The program has raised concerns since coming into force because of questions over whether the amount being paid in could cover benefits and the government's role as the system's final guarantor, meaning it could drain public coffers.
Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel