The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission is looking into universal life insurance sales practices.

MetLife Inc., New York, says in a copy of its 2005 annual financial report filed with the SEC that the SEC has started a formal investigation of a company subsidiary, New England Securities, “in connection with the suitability of its sales of various universal life insurance policies.”

MetLife “believes that others in the insurance industry are the subject of similar investigations by the SEC,” MetLife says.

MetLife is cooperating fully with the SEC, the company says.

A spokesman for MetLife declined to comment on the disclosure.