The Association for Advanced Life Underwriting is creating an independent political action committee.

The AALU, Falls Church, Va., is forming the PAC, AALU PAC, to help facilitate political advocacy on Capitol Hill, the group says.

Establishing AALU PAC “and integrating it into AALU’s suite of advocacy tools is the latest in a long line of judgments that have positively impacted AALU’s ability to represent its members,” AALU President Larry Raymond says in a statement.

Creating “our own PAC was part of a planned, evolutionary process,” Raymond says.

The AALU can raise up to $5,000 per year from each of its 2,000 members, or up to a maximum of about $10 million per year.

The AALU was founded as a conference of the National Association of Insurance and Financial Advisers, Falls Church. The AALU and NAIFA have been sharing the a PAC.

NAIFA has contributed $512,500 at this point in the 2007-2008 election cycle, according to the Center for Responsive Politics, Washington.

Aflac Inc., Columbus, Ga., ranks first with $781,500 in contributions, and New York Life Insurance Company, New York, has contributed $524,400.

The American Council of Life Insurers, Washington, the life company or organization that follows NAIFA in the ranks, has contributed $188,055.

The AALU and NAIFA still share office space in Falls Church, Va., but the groups now maintain separate offices in Washington, near Capitol Hill.

The AALU once identified itself on its Web site as a NAIFA conference but in recent years has stopped doing so.

“NAIFA will continue to be important,” says Marc Cadin, an AALU lobbyist. “They have a broader set of issues; we focus on the issues of the advanced market. It’s a different level of focus and concentration on specific issues. But it is complementary to NAIFA’s job. It always has been and always will be.”

NAIFA is the “grass roots voice for the agents’ community,” Cadin says. “It has members in every congressional district throughout the country.”

At the AALU, “we are ‘grass tops,’ fewer numbers, higher quality relationships,” Cadin says. “We focus on the top producers.”

Jeff Taggart, president of NAIFA, issued a statement welcoming the birth of AALU PAC.

“As a member of AALU, as well as NAIFA president, I congratulate AALU on the creation of their new PAC, an endeavor that will bolster the joint efforts of NAIFA and AALU to address the tough challenges facing the life insurance industry,” Taggart says in the statement.

At the American Council of Life Insurers, Washington, “we look at the AALU as an indispensable partner to our advocacy efforts,” ACLI President Frank Keating says in the ACLI’s statement about the new PAC.