SPRINGFIELD, Mass. -- Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Company (MassMutual) announced today its support of an important legislative proposal -- by House Financial Services Committee Chairman Michael G. Oxley (R-Ohio) and Chairman Richard H. Baker (R-Louisiana) of the Capital Markets, Insurance and Government-Sponsored Enterprises Subcommittee - that would modernize an outdated state-based regulatory system.  The Oxley-Baker proposal calls for enactment of national regulatory standards to make state insurance regulation more uniform and efficient while creating a more dynamic and responsive marketplace for consumers.

While MassMutual will continue to pursue its long-term goal of an optional federal charter for life insurers, Cohen said he believes the Oxley-Baker proposal is a key first step in reform and will make "important strides in modernizing regulation of the life insurance industry."

In announcing its support for the proposal, which has been called a "Road Map to State-Based Insurance Regulatory Reform," MassMutual underscored uniformity as a goal to ensure insurers play by the same rules in all states, resulting in consistent oversight for consumers.  "Our nation deserves a more efficient and effective state insurance regulatory system that will protect consumers and get products to them faster, regardless of where they live," said Ken Cohen, senior vice president of Government Relations for MassMutual.

"The Oxley-Baker proposal will create more affordable and competitive choices for consumers with uniform standards that will help state insurance regulators better target resources toward more meaningful consumer protections," Cohen added.  "The proposal's inclusion of a Federal-State Coordination Council will provide a critical resource to help ensure uniformity in product approval and market-conduct investigations."

Issues of importance to MassMutual are speed to market of new insurance products, rationalizing market-conduct exams and an enforcement mechanism to promote participation by states in an interstate compact for insurance product regulation.

"Legislation must be acted upon quickly and include decisive and significant reforms if we are to see any meaningful improvements in state insurance regulation," Cohen concluded.

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