JENNER-LIFE-05-23-05

A recently-resigned top official at the Treasury Department was named today as a key lobbyist on tax policy for the American Council of Life Insurers.

The decision of Greg Jenner to join the ACLI as executive vice president, taxes and retirement security is a coup for the ACLI.

That’s because the trade group has been struggling for several years to persuade Congress to reform tax policy to facilitate sale of more tax-advantaged products. The appointment is effective June 1.

Mr. Jenner resigned as acting assistant secretary (Tax Policy) from February through December, 2004 and was nominated by President Bush to be Assistant Secretary (Tax Policy).

While serving as acting assistant secretary, Mr. Jenner directed the Office of Tax Policy, which is responsible for providing the Treasury Department with policy analysis, advice and recommendations on all aspects of domestic and international tax issues, including legislative proposals, regulatory guidance and tax treaties.

Jenner had served as Deputy Assistant Secretary for Tax Policy since 2002.

ACLI President & CEO Frank Keating said in announcing Mr. Jenner’s appointment that “ACLI is the advocate for retirement and tax policies that create long-term savings and help ensure Americans an independent and secure future.”

Mr. Keating added that, “Greg’s extensive experience on tax policy in both the government and private sectors will strengthen ACLI as we work with policymakers on the issues so important to Americans’ financial security.”

Separately, although the ACLI denied any linkage to Mr. Jenner’s hiring, the trade group and MetLife announced that MetLife is rejoining the trade group it left in 1999. The ACLI also confirmed that John Hancock, which left several years ago for financial reasons, has also rejoined as a result of its merger with ManuLife of Canada.

The potential linkage of the MetLife decision to Mr. Jenner’s hiring stems from the fact that in announcing it is rejoining, MetLife said that it and the ACLI will “concentrate their efforts going forward on bringing the critical issue of Americans being financially unprepared for their retirement to the forefront of the debate in Washington D.C. and across the country.” It is in this area that Mr. Jenner will concentrate his advocacy efforts.

MetLife senior vice president Mike Zarcone said “We applaud the most recent changes in the organizational structure of the ACLI that will allow enhanced focus and leadership on the issues that concern us.”

Under the leadership of Frank Frank, ACLI’s president and CEO, “the ACLI has become a strong advocate for educating Americans about the critical need to save for their retirement, as well as enact meaningful legislation to provide the right products and tools to do so.”