NU Online News Service, April 12, 2005, 10:09 a.m. EDT

MetLife Inc. plans to cut about 30% of the jobs at Travelers Life & Annuity once it completes its proposed acquisition of the Hartford-based Citigroup Inc. unit.[@@]

MetLife, New York, says it has offered 1,400 “ongoing” positions, including 1,100 ongoing positions in Hartford, to Travelers Life’s 2,000 employees. About 1,800 Travelers employees now work in Hartford.

MetLife already has about 1,200 other employees in Connecticut.

MetLife agreed in January to acquire Travelers Life from Citigroup, New York, for $11.5 billion in cash and stock. MetLife says it continues to seek approval for the deal from Connecticut regulators.

Although MetLife is letting employees go, the overall U.S. finance and insurance job market may be getting stronger. The number of “layoffs and discharges” in that sector fell to about 19,000 in February, down from about 28,000 in February 2004, and the number of workers hired in the sector increased to 86,000, from 79,000, according to data published today by the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics.