Pension for lawmakers scuttled due to backlash
In response to public backlash against the proposal to introduce a special pension system for sitting lawmakers, the ruling and opposition parties declared on Friday that they will scrap the plan.
The plan would have replaced the current system of providing pensions to elderly former legislators as part of political reform measures to reduce privileges to politicians from both parties.
Spokesmen from the ruling Saenuri and opposition Democratic United parties held a joint press conference on Friday in the National Assembly and stated, “We will not follow through with the lawmakers’ pension plan that has recently instigated many problems.”
The Saenuri Party and the DUP created a Special Committee on Political Reform last August and over the past months have discussed reforming the perks provided to lawmakers.
The committee announced in November a plan to limit subsidies for sitting lawmakers, former lawmakers younger than 65 and former lawmakers who served for less than a year.
Most importantly, the lawmakers decided to revise the pension system for elderly members of the Constitutional Government Society, an association of former legislators, which provided 1.2 million won a month in subsidy payments to former lawmakers over 65 years old, regardless of time served.
But on the side, the ruling and oppositions parties had been considering a special lawmakers’ pension program, which would be similar to civil servants’ pensions, reported the JoongAng Ilbo last Thursday.
“It is true that last year when the Special Committee on Political Reform decided to get rid of the subsidies paid to older members of the Act on Promotion of the Constitutional Government Society, some lawmakers raised a special lawmakers’ pension,” said Saenuri Representative Lee Cheol-woo.
By Kang Tae-hwa, Chae Byung-gun [firstname.lastname@example.org]