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great west life insurance

13% of its Canadian workforce being laid off at Great West Lifeco

As a cost-saving strategy jobs will be cut

Great West Lifeco, a massive insurance conglomerate, plans to lay off 1,500 of its Canadian employees this year and next year as part of a cost-saving strategy. The Winnipeg based company said in a release that reductions will come from reducing the temporary workforce, a voluntary retirement program and eliminating positions through a severance program. Changing technology and increased competition are said to be the justification for the lay-offs.

Great West Lifeco CEO Paul Mahon says that the decision to cut jobs as not come lightly, and they are committed to treating everyone involved with respect, fairness, and consistent with the company’s core values.

Paul Mahon, CEO of Great West Life in his office at Great-West Life Centre after the company held its annual general meeting. 130508 – Thursday, May 08, 2013 – (MIKE DEAL / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS)

About 450 positions, or a third of the job cuts, will be carried out by the company’s Winnipeg headquarters, and most of the job cuts will be front loaded with 1,000 coming in 2017 and the rest coming the following year. In addition to cutting nearly one out of every seven jobs it has in Canada, the company also announced it would be consolidating some of its real estate holdings, improving some of its processes and updating its IT systems to save money.

With these moves being put into effect as a long term cost saving measure, Great West Lifeco will be looking at a $215 million dollar restructuring charge on its books in the coming quarter for things like: severance packages, real estate optimization costs, and information systems exist costs. Once that money has been paid out for its purpose, Great West Lifeco expects that the company will be able to save $200 million dollars a year, before taxes.

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