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Aegon group risk retreat threatens 147 jobs

Aegon has confirmed that 147 employees are facing redundancy as a result of its decision to pull out of the UK group risk market.

The firm closed its group life, group income protection and group critical illness propositions to new business yesterday.

It will be winding down existing business over the next two years and expects many roles to be redeployed to other areas within the group.

An Aegon spokeswoman says: “As we are winding down the group risk business over the next two years staff numbers will be reduced gradually. 147 roles are at risk of redundancy but we hope to minimise actual job cuts by redeploying staff to other areas of the business.”

The firm says the retreat from group risk is part of a global strategy to reallocate capital to business areas with higher growth and return prospects, such as pensions, individual protection, investments and annuities.

Aegon admits it has “sub-scale in-force business” in these markets with “limited prospects” to achieve sufficient economies of scale.

Group risk accounted for less than 2 per cent of total profits in 2008 on an APE basis.

It says the market for these products is generally mature and dominated by a few large providers.

Aegon expects the move to free up almost £48m of capital over the next three years.

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