SNC-Lavalin is paying former chief executive Pierre Duhaime nearly $5 million as a golden handshake after relieving him of his duties last week.   

The 57-year-old will remain an SNC employee until June 27 but have no responsibilities or perform any policy-making decisions, the Montreal-based company said in a regulatory filing ahead of its May annual meeting.   

SNC-Lavalin said Duhaime was taking his retirement after he was relieved of his duties for approving $56 million in payments to undisclosed agents.   

His departure package includes the payment of $1.9 million in salary continuance over two years beginning in June.   

He will also receive $115,500 in benefits, $550,000 in professional development and transition assistance.   

Although the board decided not to award Duhaime a bonus for 2011, he received 77,100 stock options valued at $1.7 million in May before an independent review was completed.   

The value of two years of pension payments he can access in 2014 is $921,000.   

SNC-Lavalin said Duhaime's total compensation last year was $2.7 million. That included a base salary of $950,000 which increased 62 per cent from when he became CEO in 2009.   

In light of a $17.9-million reduction in its 2010 profit, the company is clawing back bonuses paid to two senior executives involved in the payments.   

Duhaime is required to reimburse $184,000 in payments, while former executive vice-president Riadh Ben Aissa will be docked $42,800.   

On the Toronto Stock Exchange, SNC-Lavalin's shares closed down 55 cents at $40.20.