AEGON Reducing U.S. Work Force By 5% Over Two Years

By George Ford, Reporter


By Aaron Hepker

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa — Dutch insurer AEGON N.V. on Wednesday said it plans to reduce the number of employees in its United States operations by 400 to 500 positions, or about 5 percent of its U.S. work force, over the next two years.

AEGON said it will discontinue new sales of executive non-qualified benefit plans and related bank-owned and corporate-owned life insurance business in the U.S. The majority of the operations of those lines of business are located in Dallas, Texas.

Cindy Nodorft, AEGON manager of corporate communications, said the Dallas operations will account for a majority of the 400 to 500 jobs that will be eliminated.

AEGON also notified 50 employees of its print shop in Cedar Rapids that their jobs will be eliminated by mid-2011 as the insurer consolidates its printing operations in Exton, Pa. Nodorft said the affected employees will receive separation pay and outplacement assistance.

AEGON said it will continue to gain additional efficiencies in Cedar Rapids through consolidation and outsourcing of certain back office activities. Earlier this month, the company said it will eliminate between 60 and 80 annuity processing positions over the next 14 months as it outsources some non-customer contact work to India.

AEGON also plans to pursue further operational and cost efficiencies by consolidating its operations based in Louisville, Ky., with other existing U.S. locations. Nodorft said AEGON’s Cedar Rapids operations may gain some jobs as a result of that consolidation.

AEGON said it will take a one-time restructuring charge of approximately $80 million, of which $60 million will be charged in the fourth quarter this year and the remainder be charged in 2011. AEGON expects to save $70 million annual after it completes the consolidations and U.S. work force reduction.

AEGON employs more than 3,500 in Cedar Rapids.

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