Proposed Law to Force Companies to Reveal Salaries of Top Execs

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By Esther Tanquintic-Misa | November 26, 2012 6:43 PM EST

The federal government of Australia is set to release a draft bill that when legalised will forced companies to reveal the net salaries of its top execs as well as require its top guys to return wrongly paid bonuses.

The bill is expected to be tabled early 2013 after consultation with the public, Bernie Ripoll, a spokesman for the Parliamentary Secretary to the Treasurer, said.

Vas Kolesnikoff, chief executive of the Australian Shareholders' Association (ASA), said the proposed law would enable shareholders get an insider view of how the companies are really faring financially.

Mr Ripoll likewise said the government will revamp mandated remuneration reports to necessitate the disclosure of take-home pay.

"It is about simplification and informing the community about how much executives are paid and making sure that is properly disclosed," Mr Ripoll said. "The remuneration reports need to better reflect what executives are really being paid."

A lot of interest has focused on the take-home pay that business' top executives receive despite the onslaught of job cuts and the often-quoted global fiscal crisis.

This year, Mike Smith, ANZ Banking Group CEO, emerged as the highest-paid CEO on $9.67 million. But his take-home pay actually was much higher. Westpac Banking Corp's Gail Kelly was second at $9.59 million and BHP Billiton's Marius Kloppers at $9.58 million.

Ian McLeod, Coles boss, still remained the country's highest-paid executive this year, despite his salary falling from to $14.8 million from $15.6 million.

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