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Notice

Proposed Collection; Comment Request; Extension

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Start Preamble

Notice is hereby given that pursuant to the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. 3501 et seq.) the Securities and Exchange Commission (“Commission”) is soliciting comments on the collection of information summarized below. The Commission plans to submit to the Office of Management and Budget a request for an extension of this previously approved collection of information.

The title for the collection of information is “Form N-6 Under the Investment Company Act of 1940 and the Securities Act of 1933, Registration Statement of Variable Life Insurance Separate Accounts Registered as Unit Investment Trusts.”

On March 13, 1998, the Securities and Exchange Commission proposed a new Form N-6 for insurance company separate accounts that are registered as unit investment trusts that offer variable life insurance policies. The form would be used by these separate accounts to register under the Investment Company Act of 1940 and to offer their securities under the Securities Act of 1933. For these registrants, the proposed form would replace Form N-8B-2, currently used by all unit investment trusts to register under the Investment Company Act, and Form S-6, currently used by all unit investment trusts to offer their securities under the Securities Act. Forms S-6 and N-8B-2 were not designed for variable life insurance registrants and do not reflect fundamental improvements that the Commission has made to other investment company registration forms, including Forms N-1A and N-4, which facilitate clearer and more concise disclosure. If adopted, proposed Form N-6 would:

  • Eliminate requirements in the current registration forms that are not relevant to variable life insurance and include items that are specifically addressed to variable life insurance;
  • Streamline variable life prospectus disclosure by adopting a two-part format consisting of a simplified prospectus, designed to contain essential information, and a Statement of Additional Information, containing more extensive information that investors could obtain upon request; and
  • Provide variable life separate accounts a single, integrated form for Investment Company Act and Securities Act registration, thereby eliminating unnecessary paperwork and duplicative reporting.

The Commission estimates that there are approximately 200 separate accounts registered as unit investment trusts and offering variable life insurance policies that would file registration statements on proposed Form N-6. The Commission estimates that there will be as many as 50 initial registration statements on proposed Form N-6 filed annually. The Commission estimates, therefore, that approximately 250 registration statements (200 post-effective amendments plus 50 initial registration statements) will be filed on Form N-6 annually.

The Commission estimates that the hour burden for preparing and filing a post-effective amendment on proposed Form N-6 will be 100 hours. Thus, the total annual hour burden for preparing and filing post-effective amendments would be 20,000 hours (200 post-effective amendments annually times 100 hours per amendment). The Commission estimates that the hour burden for preparing and filing an initial registration statement on proposed Form N-6 will be 800 hours. Thus, the annual hour burden for preparing and filing initial registration statements would be 40,000 hours (50 initial registration statements annually times 800 hours per registration statement). The total annual hour burden for proposed Form N-6, therefore, is estimated to be 60,000 hours (20,000 hours for post-effective amendments plus 40,000 hours for initial registration statements).Start Printed Page 11613

The Commission estimates that the cost burden for preparing and filing a post-effective amendment on proposed Form N-6 will be $7,500. Thus, the total annual cost burden for preparing and filing post-effective amendments would be $1,500,000 (200 post-effective amendments annually times $7,500 per amendment). The Commission estimates that the cost burden for preparing and filing an initial registration statement on proposed Form N-6 will be $20,000. Thus, the annual cost burden for preparing and filing initial registration statements would be $1,000,000 (50 initial registration statements annually times $20,000 per registration statement). The total annual cost burden for proposed Form N-6, therefore, is estimated to be $2,500,000 ($1,500,000 for post-effective amendments plus $1,000,000 for initial registration statements).

The hour and cost burdens would be offset by a decrease in the burdens attributable to Forms N-8B-2 and S-6 because separate accounts registering on Form N-6 would no longer be required to register on Forms N-8B-2 and S-6. The Commission expects that the aggregate burden imposed by Forms N-6, S-6, and N-8B-2 after Form N-6 is adopted will be no greater, and may be less, than the burden currently imposed by Forms S-6 and N-8B-2.

Form N-6 has not yet been adopted, and therefore no variable life separate accounts are currently using Form N-6 to register pursuant to the Securities Act and the Investment Company Act.

The information collection requirements that would be imposed by Form N-6 are mandatory. Responses to the collection of information will not be kept confidential. An agency may not conduct or sponsor, and a person is not required to respond to, a collection of information unless it displays a currently valid control number.

Written comments are invited on: (a) Whether the proposed collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the agency, including whether the information will have practical utility; (b) the accuracy of the agency's estimate of the burden of the collection of information; (c) ways to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information collected; and (d) ways to minimize the burden of the collection of information on respondents, including through the use of automated collection techniques or other forms of information technology. Consideration will be given to comments and suggestions submitted in writing within 60 days of this publication.

Please direct your written comments to Michael E. Bartell, Associate Executive Director, Office of Information Technology, Securities and Exchange Commission, 450 5th Street, NW., Washington, DC 20549.

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Dated: February 16, 2001.

Margaret H. McFarland,

Deputy Secretary.

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[FR Doc. 01-4650 Filed 2-23-01; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 8010-01-M