Insurer to close LI office, eliminate 79 jobs

Transamerica Financial Life Insurance Co. is closing its Edgewood office and eliminating the 79 jobs there, the company said in a regulatory filing.

The office, which processes payments to customers, is scheduled to close Oct. 31, Transamerica said in a state Labor Department filing dated Wednesday.

The announcement was the second this week of a pending layoff, affecting two of the Island's highest-paying sectors: insurance and manufacturing. Both sectors have yet to recoup all the jobs they lost during the recession.

Earlier this week Spokane, Wash.-based Clearwater Paper Corp., a tissue-manufacturing company, said it would close its Central Islip plant by May 18 and eliminate 153 jobs.

Transamerica is headquartered in both Cedar Rapids, Iowa, and Baltimore. It purchased the Long Island location in 2010. The insurer said it was closing the office for "economic" reasons. A spokesman said Thursday the company would merge the Long Island operations into its Cincinnati and Cedar Rapids locations.

"We always look for ways to improve efficiency and enhance service to our clients," the company said in a statement Thursday.

Transamerica said some employees in Suffolk County will be offered jobs at other locations, while others will receive "transitional support." It didn't say what form that support would take.

The company has a major office in Harrison, in Westchester County.

Employment in the category of the Island's insurance carriers and related activities didn't grow at all in the last year. It had 27,100 jobs in December 2013, unchanged from the year before, the latest state Labor Department data show.

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