Aegon to axe 213 workers

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INSURANCE giant Aegon is axing jobs at its Lytham offices.

More than 200 jobs are going at the firm’s sites in both Lytham and Edinburgh as part of a cost-saving drive.

And a further 106 roles – 21 of which are based in Lytham – will be outsourced to a different firm.

The leading life and pensions company, could not confirm how many of the 213 losses would be at its Ballam Road offices.

David Fleming, Unite national officer, said the union was “appalled” by the decision.

“Of the 213 jobs cut there will be a significant number of jobs offshored to India from its life and pensions division,” he said. “On top of the 213, a further 106 will be transferred out of the business in an outsourcing arrangement. This decision will have a devastating impact on the Aegon workforce at its key sites in Lytham and Edinburgh.

“Unite will continue to oppose any compulsory redundancies and will insist that Aegon looks at every opportunity to mitigate these.”

The latest cuts are part of a restructuring of its life and pensions business and reduction in operating costs by 25 per cent by the end of 2011.

The management of internal mail is being transferred to supplier Oce. A spokeswoman said it was up to the supplier what would happen with the 21 employees it was taking on from Lytham.

Aegon UK chief executive Adrian Grace said: “The changes we’ve announced today mean we remain on track to meet our cost saving targets by the end of this year.”

Fylde MP Mark Menzies said: “It’s clearly very concerning that jobs may be lost here on the Fylde and I feel extremely sorry for the workforce. I visited the site and had meetings with management at staff at the start of the consultation period and the one thing that really stood out was the experience, commitment and knowledge of the staff. They were also extremely nice people.

“I have urged Aegon to take this into account when making decisions over people’s futures and I hope there will, as the company have assured me, be a positive future for Aegon in Lytham for many years to come.”

Aegon, employs 3,700 in the UK in Edinburgh and Lytham. It announced plans to restructure its UK business in June 2010, with the aim of reducing operating costs by 25 per cent by the end of 2011.