He won election to the Legislative Yuan in 1975, and was named Vice President of the Control Yuan in 1992, but stepped down to focus on the Liberty Times.
In June 2008, Forbes magazine ranked him as the seventh richest of Taiwan, with a net worth of US$2.7 billion. Lin fell to eighth on the same list in 2010, then slid to tenth in 2011. In November 2015, his fortune was valued at US$3.9 billion. Lin was awarded the Order of Brilliant Star with Grand Cordon by Lee Teng-hui in 2000, followed by the Order of Propitious Clouds with Grand Cordon from Chen Shui-bian in 2008.
Lin died at home in Taipei on 28 November 2015, from cardiopulmonary failure caused by a tumor.