Citigroup

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plans to raise the base salaries of workers by as much as 50% this year to help compensate for cuts in annual bonuses, according to reports.

The plan by the banking giant means most Citigroup employees will make as much money as they did in 2008, although some might earn more and others less, the

New York Times

reports. The company also plans to award millions of new stock options to try and retain employees.

The biggest base-pay increases will go to investment bankers and traders,

Bloomberg

and the

Times

report, citing people familiar with the plan. Workers in consumer banking, credit cards, legal and risk management will see a smaller salary adjustment.

Managers began notifying bank employees of the proposed changes this week, the

Times

reports, and they could take effect shortly.

The move by Citigroup is similar to action taken by companies such as

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Bank of America

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,

Morgan Stanley

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and

UBS

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, as they try to shift attention away from bonuses and curb excessive risk-taking, the

Times

notes.

The U.S. government has injected a total of $45 billion in Citigroup and will soon have a 35% stake in the struggling bank.

Kenneth Feinberg, the Obama administration's new "pay czar," has the authority to set compensation for only the top 100 employees at troubled companies, such as Citigroup, the

Times

notes.

Feinberg met this week with the executives of Citigroup and other companies that have received federal bailout funds.