French insurance group AXA has chosen Capita as preferred bidder for a pensions administration outsourcing contract worth £500 million, in a move union Unite says puts up to 350 UK jobs at risk.
Under the 15 year deal Capita will provide customer servicing, policy administration, claims activity and related IT support for around 3.2 million mature life and pensions policies.
Around 1300 AXA staff in Basingstoke, Bristol and Coventry would transfer to Capita under TUPE (Transfer of Undertakings Protection of Employment) regulations. The insurer would also retain some of its own operations, and staff at these sites.
But financial union Unite says it understands most employees who will transfer to Capita during 2009 will be from the areas of AXA Life that currently administer products that are no longer marketed.
The union says it is in consultation with AXA in a bid to minimise the possibility of up to 350 redundancies over five years.
"We are currently negotiating with AXA to secure additional guarantees that go beyond the minimum required by the TUPE legislation," says David Kennedy, regional officer, Unite.
The deal would also see Capita acquire business and assets from AXA in India, involving the transfer of around 600 staff.
Paul Evans, chief executive, AXA Sun Life, says: "I am confident that this proposed partnership will provide real benefits for our customers and our business while offering better opportunities for our employees as the scale of the mature portfolio declines over the coming years."
Paul Pindar, chief executive, Capita Group, adds: "Our integrated operating infrastructure will not only deliver further cost and quality benefits alongside enhanced customer service, but will also provide a flexible platform for AXA's business."