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University of Notre Dame Law School




On November 29, 1971 the American Life Convention and Life Insurance Association of America filed a petition with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to exempt certain variable life insurance policies and separate accounts funding them from the provisions of the federal securities acts.1 The petition had been preceded by informal negotiations by the insurance industry for a decision by the SEC "not to assert jurisdiction" over such policies and accounts.2 The Commission's staff declined to recommend primarily because the staff felt that other interested parties ought to be heard before a determination was made which might adversely affect them.3 After lengthy hearings the Commission decided that the securities acts should apply to variable life insurance policies. The Commission further determined to exempt certain policies from the provisions of the Investment Company Act of 1940 and the Investment Advisors Act of 1940.4 This article discusses the nature of variable life insurance policies, the problems concerning their regulation, and the implications of the Commission's decision.

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