This excerpt taken from the VZ DEF 14A filed Mar 23, 2009.
Role and Function of the Compensation Committee
The Committee oversees all aspects of the compensation program for Verizons named executive officers. In addition, the independent members of the Board approve all decisions relating to the CEOs compensation after reviewing and considering the Committees evaluation and recommendations. The Committee evaluates and approves each element of the other named executive officers compensation.
The Committee has the sole authority to retain and to terminate a compensation consultant and to approve the consultants fees and all other terms of the engagement. The Committee has retained Pearl Meyer & Partners as its consultant. In the discussion and analysis of compensation, we refer to the compensation consultant as the Consultant. The Consultant advises the Committee on all matters related to the compensation of the named executive officers and assists the Committee in interpreting data it receives from the Company and the Consultant. The Consultant participates in all Committee meetings. The Committee holds an executive session with the Consultant each time it meets. No members of management are present at the executive sessions.
The Committees policy does not permit its Consultant to do any work for the Company while that firm is acting as the Committees consultant. In compliance with the terms of this policy, Pearl Meyer & Partners has not performed any work for the Company since the date it was retained by the Committee.
The Committee makes an independent determination on all matters related to the compensation of the named executive officers. In making its determination, the Committee may seek the CEOs views on whether the existing compensation policies and practices continue to support the Companys business objectives, the applicable performance goals, the Companys performance and the contributions of the other named executive officers to that performance.
The Committee may also consult with the Executive Vice President of Human Resources on matters related to the design, administration and operation of the Companys compensation program. The Committee has delegated administrative responsibilities for implementing its decisions on compensation and benefits matters to the Executive Vice President of Human Resources. He reports to the Committee on the actions he has taken under this delegation.
At the request of the Committee, management and the Consultant have engaged in an ongoing dialogue with large institutional investors about the design and operation of Verizons executive compensation program. In addition, the Committee regularly monitors best practices and emerging trends in executive compensation. After taking into account these discussions and this information, the Committee determines whether it should make changes to the compensation program. The new policies that went into effect in 2008 are described below.