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Originally published Tuesday, January 29, 2013 at 8:54 PM

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Taiwan cuts pensions to avoid fiscal problems

Taiwan President Ma Ying-jeou has announced a wide-ranging pension reform plan, cutting payouts to government retirees of between 75 and 80 percent of their salaries from the current level of 90 to 100 percent.

The Associated Press

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TAIPEI, Taiwan —

Taiwan President Ma Ying-jeou has announced a wide-ranging pension reform plan, cutting payouts to government retirees of between 75 and 80 percent of their salaries from the current level of 90 to 100 percent.

Greece's 93 percent pension payouts have been cited as a key reason behind its serious economic troubles.

Ma said Wednesday that Taiwan's aging population has pushed up pension payouts much faster than expected.

Ma says his proposed cuts - to be implemented in stages - will ensure the fiscal soundness of the pension system for at least 30 years. One of Taiwan's main pension conundrums is its extremely low birthrate - 1.06 percent in 2011. This puts a huge pension burden on a relatively small pool of young wage earners.

Ma's proposals require legislative approval.

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