Taiwan is creating a new incentive programme that offers early retirees or middle-aged people NT$30,000 to return to work has been launched as part of government efforts to increase the pool of available workers amid a tight labour market.

The new incentive, which is retroactive to Feb 1 this year, applies to “legal retirees” aged 45 or older, or people aged 55 or older who are unemployed, the ministry of labour said in a statement.

“Legal retirees” refer to those who have begun receiving retirement pensions, such as labour pensions, the ministry said.

The retirement age in Taiwan is 65, but people can begin drawing pensions after having worked for 25 years or at the age of 55 if they have worked for at least 15 years.

To be eligible for the incentive, the person must have been away from the workplace for a minimum of three months, apply for the programme through a public employment service agency, get their jobs through a recommendation by an agency and remain employed for at least 90 days, the ministry said.

Once an applicant completes 90 days of full-time work, they are entitled to a NT$30,000 (US$950) subsidy, while part-time workers who meet the criteria can get a NT$15,000 (US$480) subsidy, it said.

All workers can collect the subsidy for rejoining the workplace up to two times.

The new measure, as well as others in a package aimed at encouraging older people to rejoin the workforce, are expected to benefit 60,000 people each year, the ministry said.

The nation is trying to increase workforce participation amid low unemployment and an increasingly tight pool of workers as Taiwanese society ages rapidly.

The nation’s labour force participation rate for people aged 55 to 59 was 61.78%, compared with 77.68% for those in the 50-to-54 age bracket, government data from December last year showed.

By international standards, Taiwan’s 59.6% labour force participation rate for people aged 55 to 59 in 2022 was well below that in the US (73.1%), Japan (78%), and South Korea (76.4%), the ministry said.

The data indicated that there is still room for more Taiwanese aged 55 or older to rejoin the workforce, it said. – CNA


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