One of the nation’s top mutual life insurers is ready to join the industry’s leading lobbying group.

The American Council of Life Insurers, Washington, says Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Company, Springfield, Mass., will become a member Thursday.

With 76 million baby boomers about to begin retiring, MassMutual’s membership will help the council talk about retirement issues with government leaders, says ACLI President Frank Keating.

“MassMutual’s membership in ACLI will ensure the life insurance industry is delivering the strongest message possible on the need for federal and state laws to address our nation’s financial and retirement security crisis,” Keating says.

MassMutual dropped out of the ACLI a number of years ago, according to a company spokesman.

The spokesman, Jim Lacey, could not say why or when the company let its membership lapse.

He says the company decided to return to the fold because “it makes sense for us to join one of the leading industry associations. In addition, under Frank Keating’s leadership over the last 4 years, ACLI has become a very effective voice in representing the life insurance industry, so it seemed like an appropriate time to join.”

Aside from MassMutual, ACLI has 356 member companies. Those companies control about 80% of U.S. life industry assets.

The 155-year-old MassMutual is among the top 3 mutual life insurers in the United States. The other two, also ACLI members, are Northwestern Mutual Insurance Company, Milwaukee, and New York Life Insurance Company, New York.