UPDATE 5-AIG unit staff agrees to $20 mln cut in payout
* AIG needs $26 mln in givebacks overall from payout
* Issa: Questions transparency on need for payments
* Former Lehman lawyer Russo named general counsel, EVP
* Replaces Anastasia Kelly, who quit in pay protest (Adds reaction from lawmakers, Treasury)
By Paritosh Bansal
NEW YORK, Feb 2 (Reuters) - AIG (AIG.N: Cotización) said on Tuesday current and former employees of its Financial Products unit had so far agreed to accept cuts totaling about $20 million in retention payments, short of a $26 million target.
American International Group Inc, which was bailed out with a $182.3 billion U.S. aid package, said it had decided to begin making the reduced payments to current and former employees who had agreed to the cuts. An earlier payout was part of the proposals the company had made to the employees. [ID:nN25204953]
These payments would total $100 million, the Washington Post reported. Although the payout is part of a previously known $195 million award that was due to employees of the AIG Financial Products unit, the news drew a fresh round of criticism from some members of Congress.
"It's not a question of whether or not the bonuses are justified, but rather if the Administration is being transparent with the American people about the nature and need of these bonus payments," said Darrell Issa, a lawmaker who has spearheaded an investigation into the AIG bailout. Continuación...