Nationwide Financial Offers 401(k) Plan Sponsors Innovative Employer Stock Fund Option

Apr 16, 2001, 01:00 ET from Nationwide Financial Services, Inc.

    COLUMBUS, Ohio, April 16 /PRNewswire/ -- Keeping its commitment to provide
 innovative product enhancements to The BEST of AMERICA retirement plan
 clients, Nationwide Financial (NYSE:   NFS) announced the availability of an
 employer stock fund offering.
     Unlike traditional stock options in 401(k) platforms where transactions
 are settled three days after the investment, Nationwide Financial's latest
 enhancement, available in The BEST of AMERICA(R) Retirement Resource, allows
 plans to offer employer stock using a stock fund method. The employer stock
 fund is primarily invested in company common stock with a liquidity balance,
 or cash component, held in a money market fund*, which allows for same day
 transactions. Because a small percentage is held in the money market fund, the
 performance of the fund will differ from the performance of the employer
 stock, although general trends will be similar.
     "By designing it like a fund where participants own fund units rather than
 stock shares, we are able to offer company stock side by side with mutual
 funds in the 401(k) plans," said Steven J. Rose, vice president and pension
 product manager for Nationwide Financial. "Employers now have the opportunity
 to promote employee investment in their publicly traded stocks with the added
 benefit of daily pricing."
     To be eligible for the employer stock fund option, there generally should
 be a minimum of $1 million invested in employer stock within the plan, and the
 employer stock should be an open plan investment option. Additionally, the
 securities must:
 
     -- be traded on NYSE, Amex or Nasdaq;
     -- have been actively traded for at least one year; and
     -- have an average trading price (measured by one year of activity or
        since inception of trading) of at least $5.
 
     Nationwide Financial Services, Inc. (NYSE:   NFS), based in Columbus, is a
 leading provider of annuities, life insurance, retirement plans, mutual funds,
 and other financial services to individuals and institutional clients.  Its
 principal holding, Nationwide Life Insurance Company, is among the country's
 10 largest life insurers(1).
     Nationwide Financial, with assets under management of $111 billion in
 2000, is the retirement savings and income operation of Nationwide, a leading
 provider of diversified insurance and financial services. The parent company
 is ranked #127 on the Fortune 500. For more information about Nationwide
 Financial visit www.nationwidefinancial.com .
 
     (1) A.M. Best, September 2000
 
     *An investment in a money market fund is not insured or guaranteed by the
 FDIC or any other government agency.  Although the money market fund seeks to
 preserve the value of your investment at $1.00 per share, it is possible to
 lose money by investing in the money market.
     Program may not be available in all states.
     In addition to The BEST of AMERICA(R) Retirement Resource, trust services
 are offered by Nationwide Trust Company, FSB.  Nationwide Investment Services
 Corporation (in MI only, Nationwide Investment Svcs. Corporation), member
 NASD.
     A prospectus for the funds within the Retirement Resource program, which
 contains more information about the fund's fees and investment strategy,
 should be read prior to investing any money.  A prospectus for the funds may
 be obtained from your pension representative.
 
 

SOURCE Nationwide Financial Services, Inc.
    COLUMBUS, Ohio, April 16 /PRNewswire/ -- Keeping its commitment to provide
 innovative product enhancements to The BEST of AMERICA retirement plan
 clients, Nationwide Financial (NYSE:   NFS) announced the availability of an
 employer stock fund offering.
     Unlike traditional stock options in 401(k) platforms where transactions
 are settled three days after the investment, Nationwide Financial's latest
 enhancement, available in The BEST of AMERICA(R) Retirement Resource, allows
 plans to offer employer stock using a stock fund method. The employer stock
 fund is primarily invested in company common stock with a liquidity balance,
 or cash component, held in a money market fund*, which allows for same day
 transactions. Because a small percentage is held in the money market fund, the
 performance of the fund will differ from the performance of the employer
 stock, although general trends will be similar.
     "By designing it like a fund where participants own fund units rather than
 stock shares, we are able to offer company stock side by side with mutual
 funds in the 401(k) plans," said Steven J. Rose, vice president and pension
 product manager for Nationwide Financial. "Employers now have the opportunity
 to promote employee investment in their publicly traded stocks with the added
 benefit of daily pricing."
     To be eligible for the employer stock fund option, there generally should
 be a minimum of $1 million invested in employer stock within the plan, and the
 employer stock should be an open plan investment option. Additionally, the
 securities must:
 
     -- be traded on NYSE, Amex or Nasdaq;
     -- have been actively traded for at least one year; and
     -- have an average trading price (measured by one year of activity or
        since inception of trading) of at least $5.
 
     Nationwide Financial Services, Inc. (NYSE:   NFS), based in Columbus, is a
 leading provider of annuities, life insurance, retirement plans, mutual funds,
 and other financial services to individuals and institutional clients.  Its
 principal holding, Nationwide Life Insurance Company, is among the country's
 10 largest life insurers(1).
     Nationwide Financial, with assets under management of $111 billion in
 2000, is the retirement savings and income operation of Nationwide, a leading
 provider of diversified insurance and financial services. The parent company
 is ranked #127 on the Fortune 500. For more information about Nationwide
 Financial visit www.nationwidefinancial.com .
 
     (1) A.M. Best, September 2000
 
     *An investment in a money market fund is not insured or guaranteed by the
 FDIC or any other government agency.  Although the money market fund seeks to
 preserve the value of your investment at $1.00 per share, it is possible to
 lose money by investing in the money market.
     Program may not be available in all states.
     In addition to The BEST of AMERICA(R) Retirement Resource, trust services
 are offered by Nationwide Trust Company, FSB.  Nationwide Investment Services
 Corporation (in MI only, Nationwide Investment Svcs. Corporation), member
 NASD.
     A prospectus for the funds within the Retirement Resource program, which
 contains more information about the fund's fees and investment strategy,
 should be read prior to investing any money.  A prospectus for the funds may
 be obtained from your pension representative.
 
 SOURCE  Nationwide Financial Services, Inc.