NU Online News Service, July 22, 9:42 a.m. – Life insurers and producers are making one last push to stave off a model regulation that would place variable life and annuity products under the auspices of securities regulators.

The National Conference of Commissioners on Uniform States Laws, Chicago, is scheduled to vote July 29 or July 30 on amendments to the Uniform Securities Act at its annual meeting in Tucson, Ariz.

NCCUSL is a 110-year-old organization made up of lawyers, judges and law professors dedicated to making laws more uniform. Model laws that they adopt can be brought before state legislatures much as model laws from the National Association of Insurance Commissioners, Kansas City, Mo., and the National Conference of State Legislators, Albany, N.Y., are introduced in state legislatures.

The NCCUSL amendments would give securities regulators authority to regulate variable products, which traditionally have been sold and regulated as insurance products.

Securities regulators such as David Brant, Kansas securities commissioner, have argued that it is solely an effort to make regulation of these products more streamlined. Producers who sell these products must have a securities license, he has said.

But the American Council of Life Insurers, Washington, and the National Association of Insurance and Financial Advisors, Falls Church, Va., see the matter differently.

They have sent out letters to all 350 commissioners in a final bid to persuade them not to vote for the measure as it stands. The measure has a 50-50 chance of being enacted, according to Carl Wilkerson, ACLI chief counsel-securities and litigation.

If the measure does pass, Wilkerson promises a fight in state legislatures where it is introduced.

“We are pledged and the agents are pledged to violently fight this,” Wilkerson says.