Benmosche told staff he was working to get Kenneth Feinberg, the Obama administration's so-called special master for executive pay, to "buy into" a new compensation plan for all employees expected within months. Benmosche will get $7 million in salary and as much as $3.5 million a year in long- term incentive awards, AIG said.
"I want to make sure we all get paid competitively," he said. "If you shoot the lights out in a given year, we should have enough flexibility to give you a big increase."
"It's time the people in Congress stopped talking about you as the problem, because you're the solution," he said. "It's not your fault, it's their fault, it's the regulators' fault."
The Office of Thrift Supervision "fell short" in its oversight of AIG's credit-default swaps, Scott Polakoff, a former acting director of the regulator told lawmakers at a hearing in March.
Benmosche told employees not to be immobilized by concern that they will upset regulators.
"My fear is that you'll say, 'I don't know if Treasury wants it, I don't know if the Fed wants it, I don't know if the lawyers want it, I don't know whatever,'" he said. "If you sit there every day not making the right decisions to take us to the next level, we'll miss an opportunity."