Pay czar nixes Bank of America's executive pay plan

The federal pay czar Thursday rejected Bank of America's proposed compensation plans for top executives, including an initial pitch for up to $12 million for chief executive Ken Lewis, calling the Charlotte bank's proposal too generous.

Even so, nearly all of the bank's top executives are still in line for $3million to nearly $10 million in total compensation for 2009 if they meet performance goals. The exception is Lewis, who last week agreed to the government's demand that he give up his pay for the year.

Like other companies receiving "exceptional assistance" from the government, Bank of America was required to submit proposals in August for how it planned to pay its top 25 officers.

The pay czar, Ken Feinberg, proposed lower payments for the BofA executives, calling proposed amounts excessive or not in the public interest and saying pay should be more consistent with that of "similarly situated companies."

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