Hartford Financial Services Group Inc. says it will eliminate 500 U.S. jobs.

Hartford Financial, Hartford, which employs about 31,000, says the cuts are part of a company effort to reduce expenses by $250 million by the end of 2009.

The cost-cutting initiative includes both non-salaried expense reductions and workforce reductions, company spokesman David Snowden says.

The job cuts will affect life and corporate operations as well as property-casualty operations, with half occurring at the company’s headquarters offices and half elsewhere, Snowden says.

Snowden says Hartford expects to give more detailed information about the job cuts by the end of the month.

The actual last day of employment for workers who will lose their jobs will vary depending on the department, Snowden says.

Hartford reported a $2.6 billion third-quarter net loss last week.

Snowden says the current round of job cuts has “been in the works for some time.”

“In today’s economy, companies are making prudent spending decisions,” Snowden says.

Affected employees will be eligible for severance packages as well as access to the company’s career transition services, “to explore positions both inside the company and outside the company,” Snowden says.