NETHERLANDS – APG, the €314bn Dutch pensions asset manager, is planning to slash 800 jobs over the next four years in a bid to further integrate business units and increase efficiency.

The manager expects to cut 200 jobs annually – 120 through "natural turnover" and 80 through redundancy.

APG will spread the cuts proportionally over its Heerlen and Amsterdam offices, which will all remain, a spokesman said.

Approximately three-quarters of APG's 4,155 staff – in 3,850 full-time jobs – is based in Heerlen, whereas the remaining staff is working in the Symphony office tower and the Cordares office in Amsterdam.

APG has also agreed a "social plan" with unions and said employees made redundant would receive the "utmost consideration and assistance" in their efforts to find employment elsewhere.

The company will inform its employees about the plans today.

The redundancies are part of a programme intended to ensure the company remains "healthy" in future.

The current programme comprises further integration of business units and "professionalising business processes" following the 2008 merger with pensions manager Cordares.

At the time, Cordares considered itself a specialist in pensions administration and contributions collection.

Although APG has indicated the job losses will mainly affect these departments, as well as communication and IT, a spokesman denied Cordares would be hit in particular.

In a statement, APG said it aimed to "significantly improve" the efficiency of its business to lower costs and improve service.

Dick Sluimers, chief executive, said: "These adjustments, unfortunately, cannot be realised without taking painful measures. But our people can count on us to handle this with the greatest possible care as an employer.

"That same consideration applies to our customers: it goes without saying that the quality of our service will be maintained over the course of the change programme."

David van As, director at BpfBOUW, said it was positive that APG wanted to "stay alert" on cost-cutting, but pointed out that the job losses involved were large.

"APG should be careful not to reorganise away its most important expertise," he added. "After all, our service-level agreements should be improved as a result of the changes."

Ger Klinkenberg, representative of the large union FNV Bondgenoten, said the number of redundancies was shocking.

"But they could be predicted, following the merger between APG and Cordares," he said. "It is clear that the pensions sector lies under a magnifying glass, resulting in a lot a pressure to maximise efficiency."