Pensions for permanent residents

It looks like APRC holders will soon be switched to the “new system” i.e. the Labor Pension Act instead of the Labor Standards Act.


Does anybody have a link to a Chinese version of this article? At my uni, both colleagues and administrators are astounded at the idea of foreigners getting a pension.

Crap. I didn’t think this would ever actually happen. Also eager to know more about this as it develops.

What’s the catch that I’m missing?

The details of this proposed new pension system (as described in the Taipei Times article linked above) are roughly as easy to understand as the new national holiday scheme. If anyone can translate what is going on, I would be much obliged.


Foreign spouses are already subject to the new pension system (Labor Pension Act), i.e. your pension accumulates over the years of your working life (in Taiwan) and does not start over from zero when you switch jobs. The catch is that if you receive severance pay, it’s basically 50% of what you would receive under the Labor Standards Act. Most foreigners are subject to the Labor Standards Act only, so this proposal would add APRC holders to the new system.

The official announcement will probably come after the proposal is passed; I don’t see anything on the MOL’s website yet. In the meantime, anyone can confirm the foreign spouses provision by checking Art. 7 Par. 1 of the Labor Pension Act.

This Act applies to the persons below who are applicable under the Labor Standards Act, but does not including those whose pension are appropriated in accordance with the Private School Act:
1.Workers holding ROC citizenship;
2.Foreigners, people of China, Hong Kong or Macao residents who married ROC nationals having a registered household in the Republic of China, and who have residency status and are permitted to work in Taiwan area;
3.Foreigners, people of China, Hong Kong or Macao residents in the preceding subparagraph who have divorced their spouses or whose spouses have passed away, and are permitted in accordance with relevant laws and regulations to continue to reside and work in Taiwan area.


Par. 2 indicates that those who are not covered by the LSA can choose to join the new system anyway.

ROC nationals and persons referred to in subparagraphs 2 and 3 of the preceding paragraph who satisfy any one of the following statuses may voluntarily make payments and claim for pension in accordance with the Act:
1.Employers who actually engage in labor work;
2.Self-employed operators;
3.Commissioned workers;
4.Workers not applicable under the Labor Standards Act.


MOL’s explanation in English:
The BLI has a clearer explanation in English: (If the link doesn’t work, go to, click on Labor Pension, and click on Characteristics of the New Labor Pension System.)

This is all separate from (in addition to) the old age benefits of the Labor Insurance Act, which applies to foreigners regardless of marital or residential status but does not apply to everyone (depending on the employment situation). BLI’s explanation in English:


Thank you sir. This is much appreciated!


It’s my understanding that companies now have the option to include their foreign workers in the labor pension program, but most opt not to (not any big surprise).

I guess if this passes, they won’t have that option anymore. You have to be here in an APRC, is what I remember from this article I read a few days ago.

So … OK … I’ve been working with private Taiwanese universities for over a decade, paying into the pension fund. APRC for the past seven or eight years - married to a Taiwanese spouse, but that’s not where my visa is from. I get a statement once a year or so with my amassed and automatically deducted fund, with matching funds from … the school? The government? I’ve always assumed when/if I retire, assuming I’ve been working long enough, as a foreigner I was just entitled to a lump sum payment of whatever money is in there (I wish I knew more, because, well, my life in retirement depends upon it, but good luck getting reliable or straight answers on this kind of thing). Does this new law mean I’ll be entitled to the same pension as my co-workers? Will I be counted as someone who’s been paying in for the past fifteen years, or will I be starting at zero? Or are these answers unpredictable so far?

What if I do not want to join a new pension program and still would like to keep old good LSA? Why - because it seems much better for me. 2 average wages per year for the first 15 years according to LSA versus 6%x12months which is similar to 0.72 wages per year according the new pension program. Or am I wrong?

Sorry, I know my way around a severance pay calculation, but not a pension calculation. :idunno:

When the new system was implemented a decade ago, (local) people could choose to join the new system or stay with the old one, but anyone starting a new job after a certain date had to use the new system, so the old system is slowly fading away – except for foreigners.

Afaik when foreign spouses were added to the new system, they still needed to have started their jobs before the original deadline if they wanted to keep the old system. I may be wrong, but if that’s the case then it will probably be the same for PR’s.

In accordance with my small research foreigners (except of those who married with locals) CANNOT participate in Pension program - neither old LSA nor new LPA (which provide “Old-age Pension Benefit”

At the same time foreigners are OBLIGED to participate in Labor Insurance program under LIA - Labor Insurance Act (which provide “Old-age Benefit”

Please correct me if I am wrong.

My research*:

    • the research is not finished

Question: how about divorcees? How about people with ROC citizen children?

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Why you conclude that old LSA “old-age pension benefit” cannot be applied for those foreigners who work on the basis of LSA?

I believe the following information is correct. Short version: the “national” pension is not the same as the “old system” pension.

Long version:

  • The National Pension Act does not apply to foreigners. Art. 1 states it applies to citizens, and foreigners are not mentioned anywhere in the Act.
  • The Labor Pension Act does not apply to foreigners, except for those listed in Art. 7 Par. 1 Subpar. 2 and 3 (basically foreign spouses).
  • The Labor Standards Act applies to foreigners. There was a ministerial interpretation decades ago confirming this, and there is nothing in the Act to exclude foreigners from any part of it.*
  • The Labor Insurance Act applies to foreigners. Art. 6 Par. 3 states that foreigners are included.

The terms “old system” and “new system” refer to the LSA pension and LPA pension respectively. I’ve never dealt with the NPA or the other insurance systems (military etc.), but you can see in the BLI’s relatively useful pages about retirement that the NPA is listed separately. For an explanation of the “old system” (LSA pension), click on “Labor Pension Program Established by the Labor Standards Act of 1984(Old System)”.

The MOL’s English website used to have some information about retirement but is now empty, which hopefully means it’s finally being redesigned.

However, if we put aside the nationality question, these systems still do not apply to everyone.

  • The NPA applies only to those listed in Art. 7, so it excludes anyone participating in “other related social insurances”. I don’t know how broadly that’s defined.
  • The LSA applies to over 90% of the private sector (according to the MOL) as well as some people in the public sector, but it’s a question of what job a person has. For example, buxiban teachers are covered, and some private school teachers are covered, but apparently public school teachers are still not covered. Anyone covered by the LSA should be eligible for an LSA pension if not covered by the LPA; labor insurance (LIA) is separate.
  • The LPA applies to people who are covered by the LSA but subject to the “new system” (basically people hired after the switch in 2005), of course excluding foreigners other than spouses. (The LSA still applies, except for the articles involving severance pay and retirement.)
  • The LIA applies to people listed in Art. 6 and Art. 8, basically meaning most people who work for medium or large companies. This is a little confusing and was already found, years ago, to be incompatible with the ICESCR because it lets some people fall through the cracks. There is also a BLI interpretation that expands coverage by including everyone who works for a company that already has labor insurance (i.e. if one employee is covered, all employees need to be covered).

*One more problem: residency rights for foreigners. The LSA clearly states that a labor contract can be for a fixed or non-fixed term (and the Civil Code says the same about employment contracts), but the Employment Service Act states that a foreigner who does not have permanent residency cannot have a non-fixed term contract. There is a civil case about this being reviewed by the Supreme Court. Edit: the SC decided the ESA trumps the LSA, so a foreigner with a non-permanent ARC cannot have a truly non-fixed term labor/employment contract.

In theory, it shouldn’t make a difference: if you’re covered by one of the pension systems and work the necessary number of years, you should be able to obtain the pension, provided that you apply for it before you pass the deadline. But obviously you don’t want to sign a contract thinking it’s for a non-fixed term (i.e. until you retire) and then find out your employer’s obligation ends sooner than expected.


Re divorcees, LIA Art. 7 as quoted earlier is supposed to include them, so after joining the new system through marriage you should be able to remain in it if you get divorced (or widowed). (I have no experience with that.)

Afaik having ROC children does not affect eligibility for a pension.

@inych, I noticed your chart also lists NHI as compulsory for foreigners. To be precise, it’s compulsory for foreign residents, meaning anyone with an ARC or equivalent (including APRC), but not anyone with just a visitor visa.

Does it mean that a foreigner still can join pension scheme under the old system (LSA)?
If I am not a subject of the LPA then I am a subject of the LSA, am I?

Or this was applicable for foreigners only before LPA launching in 2005?

So if you work for a private school, you are out of the pension program? Please explain.

One more thing: are they sure we are out of the unemployment benefits thinghie? I think it had been mentioned befre we actually are as long as we have paid for it previously.

If you’re subject to the LSA (because of your job), but not subject to the LPA (because you’re an unmarried foreigner), everything in the LSA should apply to you.

There was an explanation on the MOL’s English site about which private school teachers are covered by the LSA and which aren’t. It depends on whether or not you have administrative duties. If you are covered, you should qualify for either an LSA pension or an LPA pension depending on whether or not you’re married to a local.

This is separate from the LIA old age benefit, which you should receive if you’re subject to that law. There’s also teacher’s insurance iirc, but I don’t know if that’s just for public school teachers or also for private school teachers. You wouldn’t have both teacher’s insurance and labor insurance, though.


The teacher’s insurance law is only available in Chinese.公教人員保險法

Some private school teachers are included in Art. 2 Par. 1 Subpar. 3, and Subpar. 4 allows the competent authority to add other staff to the list. That authority is not the BLI but the Ministry of Civil Service (銓敘部) under the Examination Yuan.


“Yanglao” including retirement is covered in Art. 16 to 26.