American International Group has responded to critics of the company’s decision to make payments to retain certain executives, noting that it could lose valuable employees and even reinsurance contracts if it does not act to keep personnel.

Joe Norton, spokesman for AIG, said the company announced in September that it will pay retention bonuses to 130 executives. Since then, Congressman Elijah Cummings, D-Md., has questioned the practice, and there have been unconfirmed reports that payments in some cases could more than double some senior managers’ annual salaries.

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