CHARLOTTE, N.C. (

TheStreet

) -- Ken Lewis may have left

Bank of America

(BAC) - Get Report

with no salary last year, but he certainly didn't leave without a payout.

Lewis received $4.2 million worth of compensation in 2009, less than half the $9.9 million he took home the previous year. Nearly all of Lewis' compensation was tied to gains in the value of his pension. He also received some perks that were allowed within government's restrictions on executive pay for banks participating in the TARP program, such as tax preparation, financial planning and home security.

The embattled former CEO was the least well-paid executive at Bank of America last year. Lewis left at year's end, handing over the reins to Brian Moynihan, who earned $6.5 million as head of consumer and small-business lending. CFO Joe Price earned $6.2 million, while then-Chief Risk Officer Greg Curl brought home $10.7 million. Curl, a key player in the Merrill Lynch merger, was competing with Moynihan for the top spot, but ultimately left B of A as well.

However, the executive who truly brought home the bacon was Thomas Montag, a Merrill holdover who heads Bank of America's capital markets business. Montag earned $29.9 million in 2009, much of which was tied to a restricted stock award that came from an employment contract with Merrill "well before the Bank of America acquisition," according to the bank's proxy filing.

While Lewis' compensation and Moynihan's salary may seems surprising, they rank well below some peers.

Goldman Sachs

(GS) - Get Report

CEO Lloyd Blankfein brought home $9 million -- much less than his ordinary pay -- while

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JPMorgan Chase's

(JPM) - Get Report

Jamie Dimon reeled in over $14 million.

Citigroup

(C) - Get Report

hasn't outlined executive pay in a proxy filing yet, but CEO Vikram Pandit was among the top earners in corporate America in 2008. He took home $38.2 million during his first year on the job in the midst of the crisis, but has said he won't accept a cash salary until he returns the firm to profitability. Citi lost $1.6 billion last year.

Wells Fargo

(WFC) - Get Report

CEO John Stumpf topped all of the big-bank competitors, taking home $18.7 million. The figure was somewhat surprising, since Wells doesn't have a large capital-markets business and has made a point of highlighting its pay practices as in-line with regulatory suggestions.

The bank this week publicized a second annual "say-on-pay" vote that shareholders will be able to make at Wells Fargo's annual meeting in April. Investors approved executives' pay packages in the non-binding advisory vote last year.

"Our stockholders have always been able to communicate with the board on matters of interest to them," Steve Sanger, chair of the board's human resources committee, said in a statement. "This year's advisory vote gives them an additional opportunity for participation in the company's compensation process."

-- Written by Lauren Tara LaCapra in New York

.