Over eight percent of staff in state-owned companies earn six-figure salaries, a three times bigger proportion than in the private sector.
Among the 254,032 employees of 295 state-run companies, 8.4 percent earn six-figure annual salaries, whereas among the 15.77 million salaried workers in the country, only 2.6 percent earn six-figure incomes.
And in 12 heavily indebted public enterprises, 3.4 percent of staff still earn six figures.
The numbers were revealed in a joint survey by the Chosun Ilbo and Saenuri Party lawmaker Lee No-keun of state-run companies after the Ministry of Strategy and Finance announced measures to streamline them last month.
The average annual wage of the heads of the 12 state-run companies in question is W219.8 million (US$1=W1,076), while the average yearly salary of their staff is W70 million.
Power monopoly KEPCO has a staggering 1,266 employees who earn over US$100,000, Korea Water Resources Corporation 255, Korea Gas Corporation 236, and Korea Expressway Corporation 218.
KOGAS ranked at the top in terms of average salary at W80.3 million.
Lee said, "Total debts held by the 12 state-run companies stand at W403.3 trillion, but they are being lavishly rewarded courtesy of the taxpayer."