UK - The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) has announced 12,000 jobs will be eliminated in the next three years and 200 offices closed as part of on-going efficiency measures, having recently announced an 11% rise in productivity.
A spokesperson told Global Pensions the redundancies would hopefully come through natural waste and the department hoped for minimal forced job-losses.
Over the past three years, the department has shed 30,000 jobs, although the spokesperson said the changing nature of its activities, with increasing amounts of work conducted online and over the telephone, made such changes possible.
The Public and Commercial Services Union (PCS), which represents DWP workers, criticised the announcement. It called the plans "a dogmatic policy of privatisation" and promised to raise the matter with the Cabinet Office.
Commenting, Mark Serwotka, PCS general secretary, said: "This announcement comes as yet another blow to a workforce who have battled to provide a service in the face of swingeing cuts and below inflation pay increases.
"These plans for job cuts and privatisation are purely about crude cost cutting and will do nothing to improve service delivery to some of the most disadvantaged in society."
The DWP's statement continued: "We are confident that, in the great majority of cases, the further reductions announced today will not mean anyone leaving the department who wants to stay."
Most respondents in this week's Pensions Buzz do not think businesses should be able suspend AE contributions if in financial distress.
Former BHS owner Dominic Chappell has lost the appeal against his section 72 conviction and sentence for failing to hand over information to The Pensions Regulator (TPR).
This week's top stories include Marsh and McLennan Companies agreeing to buy JLT, and the home secretary calling for AE to be scrapped in a no-deal Brexit scenario.
Lesley Titcomb says the watchdog wants closer interactions with pension funds to spot problems sooner and act before having to use its more stringent powers