Financial authorities said Thursday they will intervene to prevent top financial company executives from walking away with retirement payments way out of proportion, a measure that follows public outrage against astronomical wages and compensation packages that went to corporate leaders last year.
Records showed that Park Jong-won, former president of Korean Reinsurance Co., received 15.9 billion won ($15 million) in retirement benefits, which is 245.5 times an average annual salary of company employee.
Park stepped down in June last year. The amount translates to more than 1 billion won accrued each year during his 15 years at the country's biggest reinsurance company.
Koo Cha-joon, former chairman of LIG Insurance Co., received 4.2 billion won in retirement package last year, while Hanwha Life Insurance Co.'s former Vice Chairman Shin Eun-chul got 1.56 billion won in the same year.
Kim Seung-yu, former chairman of Hana Financial Group Inc., was given 3.5 billion won in special retirement payment.
Officials said the Financial Supervisory Service, the financial watchdog, will put a cap on the maximum amount of retirement package while making companies set up clear and transparent standards in calculating the amount of money to be paid to outgoing executives.
"It's necessary to look into retirement payment systems of local banks and insurers, as well as their executives' salaries," said an FSS official. "We will ban them from giving too much payment to retiring executives."
Now required by law, South Korea's big businesses released salary information of their top officials earlier this week. The results raised heavy public criticism that unqualified owners and managers made undeserved earnings in wages and dividends. (Yonhap)