American International Group Inc investigated five executives who threatened to resign over federal pay limits, the Wall Street Journal reported on Wednesday.

The insurer, roughly 80 percent owned by the U.S. government, is looking at whether the executives' actions were proper, the newspaper said, citing people familiar with the matter.

The outcome of the review was not immediately known, the report said.

AIG is on the hook to repay taxpayers more than $80 billion, after disastrous bets on mortgages and other assets brought the insurer to the brink of bankruptcy. The U.S. has authorized more than $180 billion of support for the insurer.

Because of that extraordinary support, U.S. pay czar Kenneth Feinberg has say over how top employees at the bank are compensated.

Feinberg has vowed to limit bonuses at AIG's financial products unit, whose massive payouts earlier this year sparked huge outrage.

Feinberg's oversight has drawn complaints from AIG employees. Chief Executive Robert Benmosche threatened to quit because of frustration over the extent of government involvement in the company, including in compensation matters.

Earlier this month, five senior AIG executives threatened to quit if Feinberg significantly cut their pay, the Wall Street Journal reported. They gave written notice that they were prepared to leave by year-end.

Four of the five later rescinded their threats.

Mark Herr, a spokesman for AIG, declined to comment.

(Reporting by Dan Wilchins; Editing by Phil Berlowitz)