Yang apologizes to former Taiwan President over life-time pension comment

Yang said he “did not mean any disrespect” to the former president and apologized for the lack of consideration and caution the comment has reflected.

(By Central News Agency)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) - Former Supreme Court President Yang Jen-shou (楊仁壽) posted an open letter on Saturday to apologize for his comment the other day that claimed former President Lee Teng-hui (李登輝) still receives lifetime pensions “like a president.”

Yang made the comment in a pension reform seminar last week while he was giving a speech, that Lee Teng-hui is still getting paid a lifetime pension as a retired president, an entitlement for former top officials that had been slashed in 2006, as an example of the non-retroactivity of law.

In response, Lee's office director Wang Yan-chun (王燕軍) issued a public statement denying the claim and demanding an apology from Yang within the next 48 hours.

The Act Governing Preferential Treatment for Retired Presidents and Vice Presidents was revised in 2006 to significantly reduce the lifelong benefits that former presidents and vice presidents were entitled to.    

Under the revised Act, retired presidents and vice presidents enjoy a period of preferential treatment that is based on their length of service.

In the statement, Wang said Yang’s lifetime pension claim is simply untrue since Lee’s presidential retirement benefits were given according to the current Preferential Treatment Act, and will end in 2019.

Lee also waived his right to the 18 percent preferential interest rate for his retirement pension deposit after stepping down from office in 2000, the statement said, while demanding an open apology from Wang for his misleading comment.    

In the open letter posted today, Yang said he “did not mean any disrespect” to the former president and apologized for the lack of consideration and caution the comment has reflected.