The Securities and Exchange Commission voted unanimously to propose a number of changes to the disclosure rules for executive pay packages.

In an attempt at greater transparency, the proposal from the five-member panel will require companies to provide tables in annual filings showing the total yearly compensation for their chairman, chief financial officer and the next three highest-paid executives. For the first time, a clear view of the pay packages, including stock options, will have to be provided to the public.

The proposal would bring the biggest change in rules governing disclosure of executives' compensation since 1992. The proposal will be open to a 60-day public comment period and must then be formally adopted by the SEC.

The SEC proposal also lowers the level at which total executive compensation must be detailed, from $50,000 to $10,000. Disclosure tables detailing executives' retirement benefits and the compensation of company directors would be required, and companies would be required to explain the objectives behind their executives' compensation.


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