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Treasury freezes pay for CEOs at Ally Financial, GM, AIG

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The chief executives of General Motors , AIG, and Ally Financial had their 2012 compensation packages frozen for a second year in a row by the Treasury Department after they got "exceptional" bailout help during the financial crisis.

The Treasury said on Friday that all three were making progress at repaying the taxpayer funds given to them to keep them from collapsing during the 2007-2009 financial crisis but their pay practices remain under scrutiny of a "special master" until they do pay it back.

The top executives get a mix of cash, stock and stock options that together make up their overall pay packets.

"Although there has been some modification in the mix of stock, salary and long-term restricted stock for the CEO group, the overall amount of CEO compensation is frozen at 2011 levels," Treasury said.

The government pumped $68 billion into AIG from the Troubled Asset Relief Program, or TARP, and invested $50 billion in GM and $17 billion in Ally Financial to save them from collapse during the 2007-2009 crisis.

The Treasury also said total direct compensation during 2012 for 69 other senior executives at the three firms was being cut by 10 percent from 2011 levels.

The three were part of group of seven firms that got so-called exceptional assistance in the form of taxpayer-financed bailouts during the financial crisis. Four of the original seven -- Bank of America, Citigroup, Chrysler Financial and Chrysler -- have already repaid their TARP money and left the program.

Public anger over high pay and huge bonuses at bailed-out firms was so high that the Obama administration created a "special master's office" to monitor pay practices.

The Treasury report on Friday does not name any of the executives but it is evident the three CEOs still will get pay that puts them among the elite of American income earners.

The top executive at AIG will receive total direct compensation, which includes cash, stock and future stock options worth $10.5 million, while Ally Financial's leader will get $9.5 million and GM's chief executive $9 million, according to documents distributed by the Treasury.

The chief executive officer of AIG is Robert Benmosche, GM's CEO is Daniel Akerson and Ally Financial's is Michael Carpenter, although their names do not appear in any of the documents that Treasury released.

A spokesperson for Ally Financial said its executive pay "continues to be in line with the stated guidelines for TARP companies" and said its management team was focused on repaying the remaining TARP funds to Treasury.

The other 69 executives are among the three firms' senior executive officers as well as the most highly compensated employees who work under them.

The Treasury said the three firms are making progress in repaying their taxpayer funds. It said AIG has reduced its obligations to the U.S. government by more than 75 percent, while Treasury has recovered nearly half the TARP funds it put into GM and close to one-third of the money that went to Ally Financial.

(Reporting by Glenn Somerville; Editing by Neil Stempleman and Lisa Shumaker; Additional reporting by Ilaina Jonas and Antonella Ciancio in New York)

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