This excerpt taken from the PCG DEF 14A filed Mar 14, 2006.
Officer Compensation Philosophy
The Committee established compensation programs for 2005 to meet three objectives:
In addition, the Committee defines the specific compensation objectives for all officers as follows:
In order to provide compensation that is competitive with companies similar to PG&E Corporation in 2005, the Committee selected a group consisting of 15 other major energy companies (the comparator group) that are comparable to PG&E Corporation in size, scope, business mix, and other characteristics. The majority of the companies in the comparator group are included in the Dow Jones Utility Index.
In June 2005, the Committee approved a modification to the comparator group to address changes in the industry over the last few years. Beginning in 2006, the comparator group for officer compensation programs will consist of all companies listed in the Dow Jones Utility Index and the Standard & Poor's Electric Utilities Index, and all investor-owned California utilities, currently 26 companies.
Under Section 162(m) of the U.S. Internal Revenue Code (the "Code"), a public corporation may not take a tax deduction for compensation in excess of $1 million paid to any of the five highest paid officers, unless certain specific and detailed criteria are satisfied. Section 162(m) does not limit the deductibility of qualified performance-based compensation (as defined in the tax law). When evaluating compensation program alternatives, the Committee's philosophy is to retain maximum program flexibility in designing competitive, performance-based compensation programs that meet the Committee's stated objectives and protect shareholder interests. The Committee considers the potential impact of Section 162(m) on PG&E Corporation's compensation programs, and how that comports with the Committee's overall compensation philosophy. The Committee does not limit compensation to those levels or types of compensation that will be deductible.