I looked into Taiwan’s pension so you don’t have to

This is the story of the battle I went through to get details on my pension account. I’m writing this so nobody else has to waste their time, as I have.

This all started at start of March. I got my first paycheck from my new job, and unlike my old employer, the salary slips of this new job doesn’t specify the exact pension contribution amount. I like to keep a record for my own financial spreadsheet, so I asked HR if they could supply me with that information. My company’s HR contacted the labor office to confirm, since they weren’t actually sure for some reason. My employer is a big company who follows the rules to the T, so there is no doubt they made the contribution, but the Bureau of Labor Insurance said they did not receive the payment. My HR believes that it is because the Bureau of Labor Insurance did not have my new ID card number on file, and the company made my pension contribution using my new ID card number. HR sent the Bureau of Labor Insurance a scan of my new ID card that shows both the new and old numbers and they say the issue will be fixed, and they will let me know in April

However, this got me thinking, I got my new ID card number in November 2021, so what if my old employer’s contributions after this date were also not successful. I needed to find out. I asked my HR friend at the old company, who instructed me to contact the HR manager. I emailed her a couple weeks ago, and no response. Thanks for reminding me why I left. Loving my new job btw.

Bureau of Labor Insurance has a web page listing all the ways you can check your pension account.

Chinese: 勞動部勞工保險局全球資訊網-勞工退休金-個人專戶查詢及試算

English: Bureau of Labor Insurace Website-Labor Pension-Inquiries of the Individual Labor Pension Accounts

After reading the above page, my friend @Myn decided to download the mobile app, and use his ID card scanner + NHI card on his PC for verification. The login page wouldn’t accept either his old, or new ID card number. It also wouldn’t work on mine. To ensure the site wasn’t just broken, we tried with a Taiwanese ID card number and login was successful. I guess the site isn’t set up for foreigners, but in the end it’s not really important because even when we had a Taiwanese person login, they were unable to access their own pension data for some reason.

Having wasted enough time already, I decided I was going to get to the bottom of this. I read on the Bureau of Labor Insurance’s website that if you have a post office bank account, you can go there, sign a document and get access to your pension data through post office ATM’s. I didn’t have a post office bank account, so I opened one and signed all the documents granting the post office access to my pension data. It took about an hour and a half in total. After two days the feature was enabled, but…… surprise surprise, it didn’t work. The ATM said that I was a “non labor insurance insured person” and didn’t give me any option to see my contributions. I later found out that even if it had of worked, it would have only shown the latest six transactions, so I wouldn’t have been able to check if my old old employer had made contributions, which was one of the reasons I wanted to check the account. I think that it didn’t work because the Bureau of Labor Insurance system still hadn’t been updated with my new ID card number.

Today I was getting my third COVID-19 vaccine, and took the afternoon off work. Luckily, the Bureau of Labor Insurance is actually right next to my house, so I went. I would have gone earlier, but they are only open during my working hours. I’m case anyone else wants to go, this is exactly what I said to get them to give me my pension details:

我要印出來我的退休金資料。
Wǒ yào yìn chūlái wǒ de tuìxiū jīn zīliào.
I want to print out my pension information.

I only handed over my ARC, and they didn’t ask for my passport or NHI card. Whilst waiting for the staff to print the information I also explained to him the issue I had checking the pension account with my post office card, and my theory about ID card number changing. He wasn’t sure.

He printed out the information, and it included all the contributions, as well as dividend payments. Knowing the details of the dividend payments is the most interesting part of this entire process, because it gives us a better idea of how our savings will grow over time.

In accordance with the Labor Pension Act, the dividends accrued from worker’s pension fund may not be lower than the dividends paid for a two-year fixed term deposit from a local bank. Should accrued dividends fail to reach that minimum rate, the National Treasury shall compensate the difference. In the future, dividends from individual pension accounts may vary due to investment outcomes in the financial markets, but with the guaranteed minimum rate, when a worker eventually receive his/her pension payments, in addition to the principal accumulated from all monthly contributions, they will also collect dividends equivalent to the interest paid for a two-year fixed term deposit from a bank.

According to my printout, it looks like dividends are given once per year, and they are different percentages of the pension account value every time, I guess based on how well the underlying fund that our pension money is invested in does.

In 2018 I got minus 0.13% dividend

In 2019 I got plus 11.58% dividend

In 2020 I got plus 3.59% dividend

In 2021 I got plus 4.22% dividend

Not sure why my 2018 dividend was minus. I thought that they had to give a minimum dividend? Anyway…

As you can see above I have received 4 dividend payments since I have been eligible, and on average they were 4.81% of the account value.

If we had more historic dividend payments from someone who has had a pension account for years we could work out a better average. My wife might go tomorrow and check out hers.

So, this begs the question, based on this average of 4.81% year dividend payout that I calculated above, what would growth look over time when taking compounding into account?

If your initial pension account value is $100,000 TWD, and your company contributes an additional $5000 TWD per month, then after 20 years you would have $2,242,979 TWD if on average you earned 4.81% in dividends (paid annually). Using the same assumptions, after 36 years (how long I have to retire), you’d have $6,184,593 TWD.

Whilst doing all this I also found out that one of my previous employers made no pension contribution for the year I worked there and didn’t enroll me in labor insurance despite deducting it from my salary, so… time to get legal I guess.

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Excellent post. I have been wanting to check up on my contributions for a while.
Now I know how to do it.

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Thanks for the post ,very good read!

I dont want to be the cynic, but this is why i must invest myself. I dont have faith in long term payouts from government. Not in taiwan or my country of birth. Seeing a minus is possible in 2018, i would be aware of how things look in decades to come. I dont expect when i am of retirement age the government will necessarily be able. Even now pension is low, and retirement ages are rising in many countries. Never mind how unhealthy we have become. I plan to work hard, buy land and die young from a low quality health care system we paid into haha.

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Epic post. Thank you!

I hope you try. Let us know what happens.

Guy

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It is also possible that now my ID card number has been updated on the pension system, that my post office card will suddenly be able to check the balance and recent transactions. I will check tomorrow on my way to work.

Keep us updated on the @meishijia Pension Saga!

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I know I said feel free to tag me but I never said tell people we’re friends, my gosh!

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Well done, and the 21 likes you have at the time of my typing this suggest that your efforts have been well appreciated.

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So, I checked my post office ATM card again today after updating my ID card number with the pension people, and it still doesn’t work. Apparently I am still uninsured. Maybe it needs more time, maybe the feature is broken for foreigners. I’ll continue to check over the next week or so.

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Thanks for looking into this for all of us! Very helpful!!

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My wife just used this site to successfully get her contribution history and dividend additions without a card reader.

https://edesk.bli.gov.tw/na/na_gsp_login.jsp

I will work out her average dividend percentage later since she has 11 years worth of dividend payments to review.

Unfortunately it doesn’t seem to work for foreigners. It doesn’t accept either the new or old ID card format.

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Really useful post and thanks for taking the time to write it. Very timely for me as my first pay arrives on March 28th (my birthday :grinning:).
I have an additional question. If we contribute the maximum additional 6%, my understanding is that is it tax deductible, correct?

Where you on regular ARC during this time? if so, it qualifies for a different pension scheme

Marriage dependent ARC, same as now

I also checked my history of contributions and also noticed an employer stiffed me for a period of two years or so. Bit of a shocker. Not huge money but still pisses me off.

I found I was enrolled on two schemes , ,‘pension’ (60 youngest can access ) and labour insurance pension (65 youngest can access ). All later contributions were for the labour insurance pension.
They told me there is no way to get the money out prior to those ages .

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So foreigners can withdraw this money? Even if at 60 they aren’t in Taiwan/ARC expired? I don’t plan to be in Taiwan for much longer, but I do have 5 years of contributions from my jerb. If the ROC still exists when I turn 60 I’d like to claim this small amount of money.

Yesm but there are two different schemes. You need to check.

Did you ever apply for a “Citizen Digital Certificate”? It’s a purple card that allows you to check you pension balance. I found this to be the easiest way to access you pension information. I was able to apply for mine at the local immigration office and it was mailed to me about 10 days later. I could then use the card to access the information on the pension website. I think it is important for everyone to check and make sure the contributions are actually being made.

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It looks like this…

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I do have a card, but it it tied to my old ARC number, and also has my old Chinese name, since I changed it a few years ago so not sure if I can still use it. Also, you may wish to remove that image since it includes your Chinese name.

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