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Bank of America's Kenneth Lewis 'must not receive a pension'

Bank of America's retiring chief executive officer Kenneth Lewis should not be allowed his $53 million pension, according to one labor union.

The Service Employees International Union has sent a letter to White House pay czar Kenneth Feinberg, asking him to ensure Mr Lewis does not receive a planned multi-million dollar retirement package.

In its letter, the union described Mr Lewis as one of the chief architects of the global economic crisis and noted that American taxpayers have already contributed nearly $200 billion in bailouts to Bank of America.

"This enormous public investment entitles taxpayers to have a say in the bank's executive compensation practices," it said.

The union suggested that until banks announced policies that would create jobs, support government and help homeowners, no bank executives should be allowed to receive compensation packages.

Bank of America could soon face a jury trial over allegations it misled investors on billions of dollars of bonuses paid out to Merrill Lynch executives following its takeover in September 2008.

By Tony Aynsley