South Korean Government Cuts Public Sectors CEO Salaries by 31%

kpride, Aug. 13, 2015, 9:42 a.m.

The government slashed the average salary of CEOs of public corporations by 31.4 percent in 2014 as part of its effort to reduce spending, official data showed Thursday. According to the government's All Public Information in One (ALIO) information portal, the average annual salary of top executives at public corporations and quasi-governmental organizations stood at 154.33 million won (US$131,500) in 2014, down from 225.24 million won a year earlier.

The drop marks the first time since 2009 that the average salary of CEOs belonging to the 316 public sector corporations and organizations has fallen below the 200 million-won mark. The average wage of public sector CEOs first surpassed 200 million won in 2007 and dipped temporarily to 160 million in 2009, following the move to cut performance-related pay by 20 percent. It, however, rose afterward to 235.95 million won in 2012.

Prior to the decrease last year, the government started to take a firm stance against public-sector excesses in 2013 and moved to reduce debt and unwarranted welfare benefits received by public sector workers.  Earlier in the month, the finance ministry claimed it has saved some 200 billion won annually by cutting welfare expenditures.

"A tougher review of CEO performances has led to a fall in excessive compensations being given to top management," a finance ministry official said. "The government plans to continue taking measures to enhance efficiency in the public sector and to keep the people fully informed of the changes made."

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