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GM bonuses to exceed 50% of some salaries

By Aaron Smith, staff writer

NEW YORK (CNNMoney) -- Less than two years after getting a U.S. government bailout, General Motors is handing out bonuses that, in some cases, could exceed 50% of workers' salaries.

"To give GM's 26,000 salaried employees a stake in the overall performance of the company, their compensation is based in part on the performance of the company and on their individual performance," said GM, in a prepared statement.

GM (GM) said that for 96% of its U.S. salaried workforce, bonuses will fall within the range of 4% to 16% of the employees' base pay.

Fewer than 1% of the automaker's salaried employees will receive bonuses of at least 50% of their salaries, the automaker said.

GM is expected to reveal more details about the bonuses when it releases its yearly earnings later this month. At the time, the automaker is expected to announce bonuses for hourly employees, as well as salaried workers.

"In any given year, an employees' variable pay can be zero, below the target, or above the target, depending on the performance of the company and the individual employee," said GM. "Compensation for GM's 100 most highly paid executives is based on parameters approved by the U.S. Treasury."

GM received a bailout of $50 billion by the U.S. government, starting in early 2009, a plan that included giving the government a 61% stake in the company.

The government recouped much of this money when it sold GM shares during the automaker's successful initial public offering in November. But about $27 billion in bailout funds remain unpaid. To top of page

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