La­bor pen­sion now ex­empt from lien un­der amend­ment


An amend­ment to the La­bor Pen­sion Act passed third read­ing in the Leg­is­la­ture yes­ter­day, which guar­an­tees that monthly pen­sion in­stall­ments can­not be col­lat­er­al­ized, gar­nished to pay off debts or seized to en­force re­pay­ments.

Chi­ang Huei-chen’s ( ), the Kuom­intang ( KMT) law­maker who ten­dered the pro­posal, said “We see to it that their (la­bor­ers’) life­line money is not un­der­mined by an out­side force, so that they may main­tain a ba­sic liveli­hood, and will not need to rely on the gov­ern­ment or other so­cial wel­fare pro­grams for as­sis­tance.”

Ac­cord­ing to the re­vised reg­u­la­tions, pen­sion re­ceivers must bring the Bureau of La­bor In­sur­ance’s doc­u­ments to ap­ply for a spe­cial ac­count at a fi­nan­cial in­sti­tu­tion for monthly pen­sion de­posits.

Chi­ang pointed out that re­cip­i­ents of other gov­ern­ment aid — such as la­bor in­sur­ance, na­tional pen­sion, farmer al­lowance, dis­abil­ity and low­in­come sub­si­dies — all have des­ig­nated ac­counts for sav­ing pro­tec­tions, and there­fore, the mea­sure should be ap­pli­ca­ble to la­bor pen­sions as well.

In an at­tempt to build con­sis­tency in la­bor laws and to safe­guard la­bor­ers’ rights in their old age, the Leg­is­la­ture passed an amend­ment to the La­bor Stan­dards Act yes­ter­day, so that re­tirees reg­u­lated by the Act will be granted with the same pro­tec­tion as stip­u­lated in the La­bor Pen­sion Act.

A re­vi­sion to the La­bor In­sur­ance Act also cleared the Leg­is­la­ture to en­sure that in­sur­ance pay­ments will not be chan­neled to cred­i­tors.

La­borer Shift Hours Take a Toll

Up to 73 per­cent of la­bor­ers said their shift hours have a se­ri­ous im­pact on their fam­ily and so­cial life, ac­cord­ing to a sur­vey con­ducted by non-gov­ern­ment or­ga­ni­za­tion Tai­wan La­bor Front.

The sur­vey found 61 per­cent of shift work­ers la­bor 8-12 hours per day, while 5 per­cent toil over 12 hours. Only 34 per­cent claim to work eight hours on a daily ba­sis.

72 per­cent of the work­force said they are on a three-shift sched­ule, while 28 per­cent said they are on the two-shift sched­ule.

Sun Yu-Lien ( ), gen­eral sec­re­tary of the Tai­wan La­bor Front, said that while the Leg­isla­tive Yuan has signed the 40 work hour cap per week into the law, many peo­ple still work above the limit.

Sun called on law­mak­ers to make fur­ther reg­u­la­tion ad­just­ments to en­sure work hours are short­ened and to curb the prac­tice of work­ing over­time.

Chang Feng-yi ( ) CEO of the Tai­wan La­bor and So­cial Pol­icy Re­search As­so­ci­a­tion, said that many in the ser­vice in­dus­try have to take shift hours to cope with swarms of vis­i­tors on hol­i­days. Those in the semi­con­duc­tor and elec­tron­ics in­dus­try, where op­er­a­tions tend to run 24 hours, also need to work shift hours.

The sur­vey sam­ple con­sists of 61 per­cent fe­males and 39 per­cent males. Work­ers aged 30 to 39 ac­count for 47 per­cent of those sur­veyed, fol­lowed by those aged 20 to 29, who make up an­other 37 per­cent.

La­bor­ers who have five years of work ex­pe­ri­ence or fewer make up 44 per­cent of the sam­ple, while those with six to 10 years of ex­pe­ri­ence make up an­other 24 per­cent.

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