Stipends to be granted to servicemen to attract more enlistees, says Cabinet
The Executive Yuan has approved the Ministry of National Defense’s proposal to grant active- duty stipends and stipends for soldiers who decide to extend their time in the military, in an effort to attract more civilians to enlist as the country shifts to an all- volunteer force.
The new stipends took effect on Wednesday, the ministry said in a statement.
From now on, officers and soldiers in the military’s combat units will be given a stipend of NT$ 5,000 ( US$ 160) per month, while those serving in combat-support units will receive NT$3,000 as a monthly stipend, the ministry said.
Meanwhile, stipends will be given to volunteer soldiers who decide to stay on, instead of being discharged, after finishing their terms of four-year service.
As an incentive to encourage them to stay in the military, those who decide to stay for one more year will receive NT$17,000, the ministry said. Those who extend up to two years and three years will be given NT$ 33,000 and NT$50,000, respectively, it added.
The ministry said it will monitor the effectiveness of the new initiatives and make adjustments if necessary.
Before the new stipends were introduced, the government last year increased its monthly duty allowances for volunteer soldiers and non-commissioned officers by between NT$2,000 (US$66.60) and NT$ 4,000 to give young people more financial incentives to pursue a military career.
Other incentives include offering opportunities for further study while serving, and improving creature comforts such as allowing smartphone use on selected military bases, according to the ministry.
Taiwan plans to complete the shift by 2017. It had originally aimed at the end of 2015, but pushed the date back due to lower-than-expected recruitment numbers.