Kaohsiung mobilizes police for pension reform forum

The southern city of Kaohsiung mobilized some 1,000 police on Sunday to surround the venue for a public forum on pension reform. That's after protesters disrupted a similar forum in Taipei on December 31 and a second forum in Taichung, central Taiwan, on Saturday.

The public forums are part of the government's efforts to make changes to pension payments. The move is likely to primarily affect civil servants, teachers and military staff, who have long had sizeable pensions.

The protestors in Kaohsiung on Sunday said that if the government pushes forward with plans to cut their pensions, it would render the government completely untrustworthy. But other groups of public servants, teachers and military said that there were other points of view than those held by the protestors, and that the recent forums had given too much time to people with the same point of view.

Meanwhile, teachers unions are planning to hold nationwide protests this coming week. Organizers say that's because the Cabinet's pension reform plans would increase the seniority required for teachers to retire by five years. They say that would prevent most teachers from retiring until they are 60.

Source: Radio Taiwan International