Redundancy costs for four chief executives set to lose their posts in the merger of six Dorset councils could reach £1m, councillors have been told.
The figure was revealed at a shadow overview and scrutiny committee meeting for the new Dorset authority, the Local Democracy Reporting Service said.
The unitary authority, due to come into existence in April, will cover mostly rural parts of the county.
A new chief executive is due to be appointed in September.
Dorset County Council, East Dorset, North Dorset, Purbeck, Weymouth & Portland and West Dorset will effectively merge.
A second council will be made up of Christchurch, Bournemouth and Poole.
West Dorset, Weymouth and North Dorset already share a chief executive - Matt Prosser - so the £1m estimate relates to four posts.
It is expected to include pension payments as well as redundancy costs.
The meeting on Wednesday heard Dorset's new chief executive would be paid between £160,000 and £180,000 and interviews would take place in the next two weeks.
Mr Prosser has said he is in the running for the job.