U.S. Pay Czar Approves High-Level Pay Structure At AIG, GM, Ally

The U.S. pay czar will allow bailed-out firms American International Group (AIG.N), Ally Financial and General Motors (GM.N) to be flexible with their compensation packages for certain high-paid employees, according to letters released on Friday.

The Obama administration's pay czar must give her stamp of approval on pay packages for the top 100 earners at the four remaining companies that have received exceptional government assistance from the $700 billion Troubled Asset Relief Program.

Patricia Geoghegan, TARP's special master for executive compensation, already reviewed the pay packages for the top 25 executives at the bailed-out firms. According to Friday's letters, the compensation structure for the next 75 highly paid employees was approved with minor modifications.

A significant portion of compensation must be based on performance in order to win Geoghegan's blessing.

Under the law, pay packages are subject to restrictions and must be approved by Geoghegan to ensure that taxpayers are not excessively rewarding executives at companies that received the most government help.

(Reporting by Rachelle Younglai; Editing by Dan Grebler)

Copyright 2011 Thomson Reuters. Click for Restrictions.