Employers told to scam pensions

SIA worker admits having firms low-ball required premium levels

The scandal-hit Social Insurance Agency admitted Tuesday that a staff member had instructed companies falling short on premiums for the government-run pension program to falsely claim their employees’ monthly incomes were lower so the firms could pay less.

Corporate subscribers to the pension scheme must pay premiums equal to about 15 percent of their workers’ monthly incomes. Half of the premiums are put up by the firms and the remainder by the employees.

If a company reports its employees’ monthly incomes ? the benchmark to calculate premiums ? are lower than their actual incomes or the employees’ subscription periods are reported to be shorter than they really are, the firm’s premium burden is reduced.

The practice benefits both employers and the agency. The SIA can achieve a better record on premium-payment rates by member firms if their payment burdens are reduced.

Pension account holders whose entries are found to have undergone suspicious changes in income levels will be notified, according to the agency.