14 Koreans Earn W1 Billion a Month

  • By Kim Dong-seop

    January 09, 2018 12:48

    There are 14 people in Korea who make W1 billion a month (US$1=W1,069). The highest-paid is a company CEO who makes W2.7 billion a month, a whopping 810 times the W3.33 million average monthly salary of office workers in Korea.

    The National Health Insurance Service on Monday said 3,816 salaried workers made more than W78.1 million a month as of November last year, which means they have to pay the highest premium, accounting for 0.02 percent of all workers in the country.

    The category includes business CEOs, doctors, lawyers, public servants and teachers as well.

    The number of salaried workers earning more than W1 billion a month increased from 11 in 2016. Most were in their 60s, but some in their 40s and 50s.

    Some 48 earned between W500 million and W1 billion a month, 117 W300-500 million, 764 W150-300 million, and 2,873 W78.1-150 million.

    An insider said, "We can't name the top earners, but they're not CEOs in well-known conglomerates but in lesser-known ones."

    But according to Financial Supervisory Service data, one of them is Samsung Electronics CEO Kwon Oh-hyun, who made W13.98 billion from January to June of last year. The company's vice chairmen Yoon Boo-keun and Shin Jong-kyun each made around W5 billion over the same period.

    Samsung chief Lee Jae-yong, who became an executive board member in 2016, did not make it on the NHIS' list of top earners.

    After earning an average W70.1 million a month until the first half of last year, Lee received no further wages because he is in jail for bribing ex-President Park Geun-hye. 

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