12:49 PM

Nationwide enters Pension Risk Transfer market

Paula Cole named to lead new initiative at Nationwide

Columbus, OH - There has been a dramatic shift away from employers offering associates defined benefit plans in favor of 401(k) plans. But what happens with those defined benefit plans that were once offered to associates? In many cases, those are closed and removed from the employee benefit portfolio.

Nationwide announced it has recently entered the pension risk transfer (PRT) market, which helps plan sponsors that shift from a defined benefit plan to a defined contribution plan to “de-risk” by transferring the liability of dollars and pension responsibility to an annuity with an insurance company.

“Plan sponsors that keep those defined benefit plans ‘on the books’ face increasing administrative costs and earnings impacts associated with those plans,” said Joe Sprague, president of the Nationwide Corporate Solutions team. “Combine those aspects with interest rate and equity market risks, and it’s not surprising that plan sponsors are looking to ‘de-risk’ within the next five years.”

Sprague added that a volume of plan sponsors is looking at options to terminate their pensions and seeking out future investment strategies for their pension liabilities and in the best interest of their employees.

Transferring pension liabilities can help ensure the employees of these pension plans continue to have appropriate financial security and employers can manage their core business financials effectively post risk transfer.

“Nationwide has a proven track record with managing risk, a strong and stable financial position, a diversified product portfolio and deep experience working with corporate customers, plan sponsors and their participants,” said Sprague. “We think these attributes will enable us to help those who are looking to transfer their pension risk, particularly in these times of extreme market volatility.”

Sprague also announced that Paula Cole has joined Nationwide to lead the Pension Transfer Risk team. Paula joins Nationwide from Legal & General Retirement America, a United Kingdom market leader in pensions de-risking where she supported the entrance, scaling and transformation of the U.S. pension risk transfer business. Her experience in pension risk transfer and defined benefit administration spans more than 18 years.

“Paula’s extensive experience in the pension transfer and defined benefits plan space will be key in supporting our entrance and longevity in the PRT market,” Sprague said.

Cole earned a bachelor’s degree in Sociology and Business Administration from North Central College and has a bachelor’s and master’s degree in Operational Excellence from The Ohio State University.

About Nationwide

Nationwide, a Fortune 100 company based in Columbus, Ohio, is one of the largest and strongest diversified insurance and financial services organizations in the United States. Nationwide is rated A+ by both A.M. Best and Standard & Poor’s. An industry leader in driving customer-focused innovation, Nationwide provides a full range of insurance and financial services products including auto, business, homeowners, farm and life insurance; public and private sector retirement plans, annuities and mutual funds; excess & surplus, specialty and surety; pet, motorcycle and boat insurance. For more information, visit www.nationwide.com. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter.