Lowe’s CEO gets compensation worth $11.7M in 2009

In a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission on Wednesday, Lowe’s reported that Niblock, 47, who is also chairman, received a salary of $1.1 million, the same as in 2008, and a performance-based bonus of $2.8 million, up from $1.5 million in 2008.

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He received other compensation worth $204,515, including $30,297 for personal use of the company’s corporate aircraft and a $6,816 contribution to Niblock’s 401(k) plan.

The bulk of his award came as stock options and grants valued at $7.5 million the date they were granted.

The Associated Press formula is designed to isolate the value the company’s board placed on the executive’s total compensation package during the last fiscal year. It includes salary, bonus, performance-related bonuses, perks, above-market returns on deferred compensation and the estimated value of stock options and awards granted during the year. [Read the full article]

Relief to seniors facing high prescription drug costs is one of the first changes to come under the new health care overhaul. But ultimately that won’t offset the relentless increase in retirees’ medical expenses.

A couple retiring this year will need a quarter of a million dollars, on average, to cover medical expenses in retirement, according to a study to be released Thursday by Fidelity Investments.

The estimate is up 4.2 percent from Fidelity’s projection last year. The Boston-based financial services company has updated its estimate annually since 2002 as part of its business helping employers design workplace benefits programs.

The study is based on projections for a couple of 65-year-olds retiring this year with Medicare coverage. The estimate factors in the federal program’s premiums, co-payments and deductibles, as well as out-of-pocket prescription costs. [Read the full article]

California Attorney General Jerry Brown on Wednesday accused his potential GOP gubernatorial rivals of using “snake-oil math” in promising to simultaneously fix overcrowded prisons and cut taxes. He also slammed their plans to scale back public employee pensions.

Brown and the candidates who are challenging each other in the Republican primary sought to shore up their law-and-order credentials Wednesday as they separately addressed a gathering of law enforcement officials in the state capital.

Former eBay chief executive Meg Whitman and state Insurance Commissioner Steve Poizner advocated shipping more prisoners out of state. Whitman also said California needs to build more prisons, while Poizner said he would like to restart rehabilitation programs. [Read the full article]

A bipartisan Illinois General Assembly handed Gov. Pat Quinn a victory Wednesday, sending him an overhauled state pension system, cutting benefits for new city and state employees to save money for woefully underfunded retirement systems.

The measure requires future workers to work until age 67 to get full retirement benefits, sets a maximum salary on which pensions may be calculated and limits annual increases in payments. There would be no change in benefits for current employees.

Legislative Democrats said the changes would save more than $100 billion — although they didn’t have exact figures from experts — over several decades for 13 state and local pension systems covered by Illinois law, including state programs that are underfunded by $80 billion.

But it has labor unions that represent government employees angry. They point out that slicing future benefits does nothing to reduce the outstanding liability. [Read the full article]

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