Country Financial To Cut 200 Jobs, Change Employee Benefits | WGLT

Country Financial To Cut 200 Jobs, Change Employee Benefits

Oct 9, 2020

UPDATED 3:30 p.m. | Country Financial said Friday it plans to cut 200 jobs—nearly half through attrition—as part of a cost-cutting plan that also will change employee benefits.

The 200 positions will be eliminated over the next 15 months. Country said nearly half of the positions will be eliminated through attrition and the rest through "displacements."

"While these decisions are not easy, they are necessary to control expenses and to ensure our long-term health as an organization," Country said in a statement.

Country has more than 3,500 employees, meaning its workforce will shrink by around 5.7%. It's unclear how many of the job cuts will come from Bloomington, where the company is based.

Country also will no longer offer a pension plan to new employees beginning in January 2021, and current employees will receive a slightly modified pension plan. Current salaried employees will not receive a merit increase in 2021.

Country also is selling its regional office in Salem, Ore. Employees there will continue to work remotely as they have since the COVID-19 pandemic began, Country said.

"Serving the needs of our clients is always at the forefront of our actions," Country said. "Because of this, we continually evaluate the needs of our clients and our overall organization, including the number of employees we have and the real estate we own and rent. To keep costs down for our clients and compete in an ever-changing environment, we need to reduce our own costs."

Country Financial is not the only insurance and financial services company cutting jobs.

Allstate recently announced plans to cut about 8% of its workforce, or 3,800 jobs, from claims, sales, service and support functions.

A recent labor market study found that, amid COVID-19 uncertainty, more insurance companies were pessimistic about revenue growth and likely to shed employees in the next year.

This story will be updated.

There’s no subscription fee to listen or read our stories. Everyone can access this essential public service thanks to community support. Donate now, and help fund your public media.