The design of Taiwan’s old pension system under the Labor Standards Law was based on the philosophy of “life-long employment”, which hardly meets the needs of the modern business environment and the labor-capital interaction today. Furthermore, some employers have often tried to escape their liability for the pension payment by using a variety of inappropriate means to transfer, terminate, and lay off labors, making them ineligible to meet retirement criteria, and thus causing labor-capital disputes and employment discrimination.
In order to reform the old pension system’s drawback to ensure the pension to be “seeable and attainable”, the “Labor Pension Act” (LPA) is finally passed by Legislative Yuan after the 3rd reading on June 11, 2004. This new pension system comes after an effort of more than 10 years of communication and coordination among the political, labor and capital parties, and is officially implemented on July 1, 2005, entering Taiwan’s labor pension system into a new milestone.
The purpose of this study is not only to compare and analyze the new and old pension systems, but also to explore the influence of labor characteristics on their choice for the pension system. This is accomplished through a case study of two typical small medium-sized enterprises. In addition, the study is aimed, through an interview, at exploring the major considerations for labors to choose their pension systems, and to explore the factors that influence decisions of whether or not to join the voluntary contribution. The study is made to also explore the impact of the new pension system on both labor and capital sides, and to understand how they react to it.
Through the interview survey, the study finds the major consideration factors for employees to choose their pension system as the following: seniority, age, possibility of changing job in the future, and possibility of company survival. The longer the seniority, older age, senior management, being married, and junior high school education background, have higher tendency to choose the old pension system than others. Finally, the study finds, through the interview, that the main reasons for employees to join the voluntary contribution are saving money and income tax deduction, while the reasons for not to join include: (1) already made other money-managing plans, (2) no extra money, (3) no confidence in the government, and (4) eligible to receive the pension only after reaching age 60.
Lastly, the study finds some potential problems with the new pension system that need improvement. The final conclusion offers suggestions to the employers, government, and labors, about the future planning and amendment of the labor pension system, in hopes to make the Taiwan’s pension system more perfect.