No 2009 pay for Bank of America CEO Ken Lewis

The outgoing leader will have to repay what he's earned so far this year, based on a deal struck by the government's pay czar.

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By Hibah Yousuf, contributing writer

Outgoing Bank of America CEO Ken Lewis.
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NEW YORK ( -- In the past, Bank of America Chief Executive Officer Ken Lewis has received an annual salary of $1.5 million. But this year he will get nothing.

That means no salary, no bonuses. In fact, he will have to repay Bank of America Corp. (BAC, Fortune 500) the more than $1 million he has already earned in his final year on the job.

Lewis agreed to the deal on Thursday after the Treasury department's pay czar, Kenneth Feinberg, "suggested" it to him, said Bob Stickler, a spokesman for the bank.

Stickler added that Lewis "felt it was not in the best interest of Bank of America or him to get into a dispute with the pay master."

Lewis, who announced last month that he will retire at the year's end, will still have $53 million in pension benefits waiting for him. The outgoing chief will also have other stock awards and deferred compensation for a total $69 million payout, said Stickler.

Feinberg does not have authority to modify compensation awarded before 2009, which includes Lewis' retirement package and stock holdings from a four-decade career at the bank.

But Stickler asked, "Since when does law apply to this administration?" As a result, he said Bank of America is unsure whether or not Lewis' retirement package is under review by the government.

Wall Street has been waiting for Feinberg to announce rules on compensation at the seven firms that have received large government loans last year as the financial system neared collapse. And while firms are expecting Feinberg to crack down on payouts, a complete cut is bold.

The deal comes before the Charlotte, N.C.-based bank announces its third-quarter earnings on Friday morning. Analysts polled by Thomson Reuters expect earnings per share to decrease by 21 cents from a year ago when they were flat. To top of page

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