Hundreds of Aegon pension jobs 'facing axe' in Scotland

image captionAegon is seeking to cut 25% of its costs in its pensions business

Hundreds of jobs in Scotland's finance sector are at risk as insurer Aegon seeks to cut a quarter of its UK costs.

The Dutch company is to overhaul its pension products, which could see 600 jobs lost at its UK headquarters in Edinburgh.

Aegis, the union representing Aegon staff, said the scale of the proposed changes were a blow.

Much of Aegon's British business was built on Scottish Equitable which it bought 16 years ago.

Aegon is now ending speculation that it will sell that British business, announcing instead a major change to the products it offers.

This will focus on corporate pension schemes and investments for those approaching retirement.

It will review what else it offers over the next three months and decide how to cut quarter of its costs by the end of next year.

'Assess impact'

Aegon is not saying how much that will mean for its payroll, but as its life and pensions division has 2,400 staff in Edinburgh, about 600 of them could go.

There are also 670 staff at Lytham St Annes, Lancashire, and 630 in sales roles across the UK.

The company said: "In the United Kingdom, Aegon will take significant steps to improve return on capital by targeting cost reductions of 25% in life and pensions and refocusing the business on the growth market segments of At Retirement and Workplace Savings where Aegon has leading positions."

Brian Linn, general secretary of Aegis, said that while it was reassuring Aegon remained committed to the UK, the scale of change was a blow to its members.

He said: "We need to see a breakdown of the company's proposals before we can assess the likely impact on our members.

"The company has committed to sharing their plans with Aegis as they develop and we expect to work through these over the next few months."

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