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The way you feel about investing and the risk you’re comfortable with is unique to you. That’s why we created the Nationwide DefenderSM Annuity and included a variety of options for growth potential and investment protection, so your financial professional can tailor a solution to fit what you need.

Nationwide Defender is a registered index-linked annuity.

A registered index-linked annuity (RILA) is a an individual single-purchase-payment deferred annuity and long-term savings option that limits exposure to downside risk and provides the opportunity for growth. 

Returns are based in part on the performance of an underlying index or indexes. In addition, they also provide an option to convert the annuity into a stream of income payments in retirement through annuitization. A RILA does not directly invest in an index. A RILA includes index strategies which follow market performance; however, they are not actual investments in the stock market.

If you take withdrawals before age 59½, you may have to pay a 10% early withdrawal federal tax penalty in addition to ordinary income taxes.

Withdrawals may trigger early surrender charges, and they reduce your death benefit and contract value.

All guarantees and protections of registered index-linked annuities are subject to the financial strength and claims-paying ability of Nationwide Life Insurance Company.

Fees and charges of an annuity may vary.

Pursue investment growth

With the Nationwide Defender Annuity, the potential for your investment to grow is based on the performance of an underlying market index or indexes.1 Select one or more of the indexes below that align with your investment style and goals. We’ll track them and periodically credit your annuity with interest based on how they perform during the strategy term.

a man nearing retirement stretches before his workout

These index options are available

S&P 500®

Based on the market capitalization of 500 large companies listed on the New York Stock Exchange or Nasdaq, this index is widely considered the leading indicator of the U.S. stock market and economy.

MSCI EAFE

This is an index of large companies across 21 developed markets in Europe, Australasia and the Far East, excluding the U.S. and Canada, and is the oldest international stock market index. 

S&P MidCap 400®

This index serves as a gauge for the U.S. mid-cap equities sector and is the most widely followed mid-cap index. The market capitalization for included stocks ranges from $3.7 billion to $14.6 billion.

Russell 2000®

This index is made up of the smallest 2,000 stocks in the Russell 3000® Index and is the most widely quoted measure of overall performance for small-cap to mid-cap company shares.

Nasdaq-100®

This is made up of 102 stocks from the largest nonfinancial companies on the Nasdaq stock exchange. They’re weighted based on their market capitalization, with the influence of the largest components capped.

These strategy terms are available

1-year term
3-year term
6-year term

A shorter term might allow you to adjust your strategy more frequently, and a longer term might allow you to capture more growth potential.

Protect against market risk

The Nationwide Defender Annuity also provides buffer protection against a certain percentage of index losses. That can help lessen the impact of volatility as you’re preparing for retirement. You have options for buffer protection, so review them closely and choose the one that feels more comfortable to you.

a woman nearing retirement age explores annuity options on her tablet

These buffer protection options3 are available


The 10% Buffer can protect your annuity against the first 10% of an index loss, or the 20% Buffer can protect it against the first 20% of an index loss.

In either case, you will assume any index loss beyond the buffer percentage.

Here we show that the 10% buffer will provide protection against the first 10% of an index loss and the 20% buffer will provide protection against the first 20% of an index loss, but the risk exposure for the contract owner can extend further if index losses continue beyond the buffer percentage.

Provide for your loved ones

When you’re investing for the future, it’s never just about you. So the Nationwide Defender Annuity also includes valuable features that will help you provide for those you care most about.

a married couple makes plans for their retirement

These death benefit options are available

As you designate the beneficiary for your annuity, consider the type of death benefit you want to guarantee they will receive.

  • Contract Value Death Benefit: Beneficiaries receive the contract value on the day the death benefit is processed (standard, with no additional cost)
  • Return of Premium Death Benefit: Beneficiaries receive the greater of the contract value or the initial premium adjusted for withdrawals (optional, with a 0.15% additional cost)4

Our Spousal Protection Feature is included

Spouses can provide for each other no matter who passes away first. When one passes away, the survivor will make a choice:

  • Continue the contract at the death benefit amount with no tax consequences and name a new beneficiary
  • Take a lump-sum distribution with no contingent deferred sales charge or market value adjustment5

The Spousal Protection Death Benefit Feature is included at no additional charge.

Review these valuable resources

We designed all of these resources to provide important details and help you make an informed decision. Simply click on each one now to review it.

Consider these frequently asked questions

Expand all
Age 85 for the annuitant; the owner may be any age.
$25,000 (single purchase payment only)
  • Nonqualified
  • IRA
  • Roth IRA
  • SIMPLE IRA
  • SEP IRA
  • Charitable remainder trusts
  • 401(k) — investment only
  • 401(a) — investment only
1.10% (annual percentage charged quarterly on the index strategy value)
This is charged when you withdraw more than the CDSC-free withdrawal during the first 6 years, and the schedule is 8%, 8%, 7%, 6%, 5%, 4%, 0%.
During the first 6 contract years, you may withdraw 10% of the contract value at the beginning of that contract year or the required minimum distribution value (whichever is greater) without paying a CDSC.
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Call 1-877-245-0761 (sales); 1-800-848-6331 (service)

Not available in: MD, MO, NE, NY, OR, VA, VI

[1] While the contract does not directly invest in the index, it is still subject to market or investment loss. Index strategy values fluctuate each day, and the growth potential and buffer protection are not fully realized until the end of the strategy term.
[2] 6-year strategy terms might not be available after issue. Likewise, 3-year strategies might not be available after year 3.
[3] The contract may gain or lose value before the end of the strategy term. Buffer protection and growth potential are not fully realized until the end of the strategy term. As a result, you may experience a loss even if negative index performance is within the buffer percentage during a strategy term.
[4] The Return of Premium Death Benefit is available for annuitants and co-annuitants who are age 75 or younger on the application signing date.
[5] Taxes might be applicable.

This material is not a recommendation to buy or sell a financial product or to adopt an investment strategy. Investors should discuss their specific situation with their financial professional.

This product is sold by prospectus. This material must be preceded or accompanied by the prospectus. Carefully consider the investment objectives, risks, charges and expenses. The product prospectus contains this and other important information. Investors should read it carefully before investing. To request a copy, go to nationwide.com/prospectus or call 1-800-848-6331.

When evaluating the purchase of an annuity, your clients should be aware that annuities have limitations. They are long-term vehicles designed for retirement purposes. They are not intended to replace emergency funds, to be used as income for day-to-day expenses or to fund short-term savings goals. Please read the prospectus for complete details. Withdrawals are subject to income tax, and withdrawals before age 59½ may be subject to a 10% early withdrawal federal tax penalty.

Nationwide Defender is an individual single-purchase-payment deferred annuity with index-linked strategies issued by Nationwide Life Insurance Company, Columbus, Ohio. The general distributor is Nationwide Investment Services Corporation, member FINRA, Columbus, Ohio. Please note that the contract does not directly participate in any stock or equity investments.

Guarantees and protections referenced within are subject to the claims-paying ability of Nationwide Life Insurance Company.

The “S&P 500” is a product of S&P Dow Jones Indices LLC (“SPDJI”) and has been licensed for use by Nationwide Life Insurance Company (“Nationwide”). Standard & Poor’s®, S&P® and S&P 500® are registered trademarks of Standard & Poor’s Financial Services LLC (“S&P”); DJIA®, The Dow®, Dow Jones® and Dow Jones Industrial Average® are trademarks of Dow Jones Trademark Holdings LLC (“Dow Jones”); and these trademarks have been licensed for use by SPDJI and sublicensed for certain purposes by Nationwide. Nationwide Defender Annuity is not sponsored, endorsed, sold or promoted by SPDJI, Dow Jones, S&P or their respective affiliates, and none of such parties makes any representation regarding the advisability of investing in such product(s), nor do they have any liability for any errors, omissions or interruptions of the S&P 500.

The product referred to herein is not sponsored, endorsed or promoted by MSCI, and MSCI bears no liability with respect to any such product or any index on which such product is based. The Contract contains a more detailed description of the limited relationship MSCI has with Nationwide and any related funds.

The Russell 2000 Index is an equity index that measures the performance of the 2,000 smallest companies in the Russell 3000 Index, which is made up of 3,000 of the biggest U.S. stocks. The Russell 2000 Index is constructed to provide a comprehensive and unbiased small-cap barometer and is completely reconstituted annually to ensure that larger stocks do not affect the performance and characteristics of the true small-cap index.

The product referred to herein is not sponsored, endorsed or promoted by Russell, and Russell bears no liability with respect to any such product or any index on which such product is based. The Contract contains a more detailed description of the limited relationship Russell has with Nationwide and any related funds.

The NASDAQ-100 Index® includes 100 of the largest domestic and international nonfinancial securities listed on The NASDAQ Stock Market® based on market capitalization. NASDAQ®, and Nasdaq-100 Index®, are registered trademarks of Nasdaq Inc. (which with its affiliates is referred to as the “Corporations”) and are licensed for use by Nationwide. The Product(s) have not been passed on by the Corporations as to their legality or suitability. The Product(s) are not issued, endorsed, sold or promoted by the Corporations. THE CORPORATIONS MAKE NO WARRANTIES AND BEAR NO LIABILITY WITH RESPECT TO THE PRODUCT(S).

Neither Nationwide nor any of its affiliates are related to or affiliated with Standard & Poor’s, MSCI, Russell or Nasdaq.

Nationwide, the Nationwide N and Eagle and Nationwide Defender are service marks of Nationwide Mutual Insurance Company. © 2023 Nationwide