Aegon is halving the number of its UK sales centres as part of a restructure designed to cut operating costs by 25% by the end of next year.
The Dutch-owned insurance company will reduce the number of regional sales offices from 12 to six in a move it anticipates will lead to a net loss of 106 jobs.
A total of 142 roles will be made redundant across the UK with 36 new posts being created.
Centres based in Edinburgh, Leeds, the East Midlands, the South East, Watford and East Anglia will be closed while the offices in Glasgow, Manchester, Birmingham, London, Bristol and Guildford will be retained.
Aegon says the moves represents the first stage of its new strategy to focus on the two 'core' markets of ‘at retirement' and ‘workplace savings' and to cut operating costs by a quarter.
In June, group CEO Alex Wynaendts said the UK cuts could equate to about £80m worth of cost reductions annually. He said the UK business will withdraw from the bulk annuities market because conditions at the time were affecting profitability.
In Q2 the insurer announced UK net income increased 41% to £24m against the same quarter last year. UK life and pensions new business was £263m, up 25% on last year. Underlying earnings rose 13% to £18m.
It is expected to announce a decision on whether to stay in the protection or withdraw at the end of the month.
Aegon says it will seek to avoid compulsory redundancies where possible and has already begun formal consultation with trade union Aegis on all aspects of the proposals.
Aegon UK sales director Duncan Jarrett says: "The financial advisory market is changing rapidly, as advisers prepare their business models for the changes brought about by the RDR and make greater use of technology in running their business.
"Our new sales structure reflects Aegon's commitment to the adviser market. We know that advisers will continue to require high quality service and support, but they want it in a way that suits the way they work, saves them time and enables them to provide a more efficient service to clients.
"We have piloted elements of our new approach and we know it will enable us to provide a better quality of service to all our advisers, and ensure we maintain and develop our adviser relationships."
"The changes we are announcing today will ensure our sales force remains at the leading edge in the years ahead."
General secretary of Aegis the Union Brian Linn says: "We acknowledge the economic and regulatory drivers for this change. However, the news that six out of twelve regional sales centres are to close has come as a major shock to our members.
"We remain committed to supporting our members at this difficult time. We will continue to work with the company throughout the consultation period to identify as many opportunities as possible for those directly impacted."
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