TVA boosts pay for top bosses to record level

Utility boosts income, executive pay in fiscal 2016

TVA president and CEO Bill Johnson speaks to reporters after a news conference at the Watts Bar Nuclear Plant on Thursday, Oct. 22, 2015, near Spring City, Tenn., as Unit 2 begins producing electricity for the first time, 43 years after construction began at the site.

TVA executives who helped lead the utility to record earnings in the past year shared in record high performance bonuses, according to financial filings today with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

TVA President Bill Johnson was paid a record $4.9 million in salary and performance bonuses in in the fiscal year ended Sept. 30, up 7.4 percent from what he was paid in salary and bonuses the previous year. Including the value of his pension and other payments, Johnson's total compensation in fiscal 2016 totaled $6.45 million, making him again this year the highest paid federal employee in America.

Johnson, a former Progress Energy CEO recruited to TVA four years ago, was still paid in the bottom quartile of top utility CEOs in the private sector, according to pay consultants who study executive compensation.