It’s a pretty well-oiled machine.

You could say that about the political lobbying efforts of the Association for Advanced Life Underwriting (AALU), which wrapped up its 2011 annual meeting in Washington, D.C., last Wednesday.

This organization has proven very effective at rebuffing any attempts by Congress to taxing corporate-owned life insurance or taxing the inside buildup of life insurance — something that gets reconsidered annually.

Membership in AALU is at an all-time high, and last week’s meeting drew more attendees than ever before. Outgoing AALU President Nathan Perlmutter, CLU, ChFC, told attendees that nearly 600 AALU members have made political contributions in the past year totaling more than $2 million, and more than 500 members made the trip to Capitol Hill during the conference — about 200 more than average.

During Tuesday morning’s general session, the “Washington Report Live!” featured five panelists discussing federal budget reform and its potential impact on the life insurance industry. The consensus was that favorable tax code provisions that apply to life insurance continue to be vulnerable, and that the Congressional Budget Office identifies eliminating these tax provisions as a deficit reduction option each year. That’s why the AALU has to keep its guard up, working continuously to identify members of Congress to support and develop good relationships.

Panelist Marc Cadin of AALU told the audience, “We have the relationships, the funding, the communication tools and the messages to address any new legislative initiative. In terms of preparation, we’re ready to go. Our message to Congress needs to be: The tax code needs to incent people to save. And life insurance is a big piece of saving incentives. There’s a lot at stake.”

Panelist Chris Morton of AALU said 31 of the 37 members on the House, Ways and Means Committee have signed a letter stating that taxing corporate-owned life insurance is not an appropriate way to address the fiscal challenges we face as a country. “What we’ve done works,” Morton said.

For 54 years, AALU has been the voice of the advanced life insurance market in Washington. With membership at an all-time high and member engagement on the rise, the organization looks to be in a great position to continue its effective advocacy for the life insurance industry.

To read more from Brian Anderson, click here.

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Let the budget lobbying begin

AALU conference on deck

Sunday night in D.C.