The Nationwide Defined Protection℠ Annuity is a single-purchase-payment deferred annuity with growth opportunities based on the performance of an underlying index or indexes and some protection from downside market risk at a defined level you select. The minimum initial purchase amount is $25,000.

Nationwide Defined Protection does not directly participate in any stock, equity investments or index. It is not possible to invest directly in an index.

Withdrawals will reduce the contract value and death benefit. Some withdrawals may be subject to additional charges and adjustments. Withdrawals before age 59 1/2 may be subject a 10% early withdrawal federal tax penalty in addition to ordinary income taxes. Please keep in mind all guarantees and protections are subject to the claims-paying ability of Nationwide Financial Insurance Company. 

Key features

Protection from market risk

With three levels of protection, the Nationwide Defined Protection Annuity lets you select how much of your investment you want to protect from market losses during each Strategy Term.1 Negative index performance (or the Strategy Spread2) will never cause your earnings to be less than the Protection Level you select at the beginning of the Strategy Term, assuming no Non-Preferred Withdrawals are taken.3

Growth potential

The Nationwide Defined Protection Annuity was designed to capture market growth opportunities based on the performance of underlying indexes and the associated Participation Rate.4

Customize your Strategy

You can select the balance between protection and performance that helps meet your goals and risk tolerances by allocating your assets to a maximum of five Strategies. Each Strategy includes several factors that are used when crediting earnings such as: Protection Level, Index, Participation Rate, Strategy Term and Strategy Spread.

Index lock-in feature

Once each Strategy Term, you may lock in the index value on any business day before the end of the Strategy Term. The locked-in index value is then used when calculating earnings any time between the lock-in date and the end of the Strategy Term.

Tax deferral

Your annuity value may grow tax-deferred.

Nationwide Defined Protection annuity product guide

What are my index options?

Nationwide Defined Protection Annuity offers growth potential based on the performance of underlying indexes. You have the option of choosing from the J.P. Morgan Mozaic II℠ Index, the NYSE® Zebra Edge® Index, S&P 500® Index or MSCI EAFE Index. This gives you the opportunity to further diversify your contract and your portfolio.

J.P. Morgan Mozaic IISM Index

This index's asset selection is based on the tendency for asset classes exhibiting positive returns to be more likely to continue to deliver performance. Each month the index evaluates 15 global asset classes and selects the nine with the greatest returns in the past six months. It then strategically allocates to each in order to smooth volatility within the index and create more consistent returns.5

Read the J.P. Morgan Mozaic II℠ Index Guide

NYSE® Zebra Edge® Index

This rules-based index applies the behavioral finance research of Roger Ibbotson and his team at Zebra Capital to select the least popular and volatile stocks from the 500 largest U.S. publicly traded companies. The index then allocates between the selected stocks, U.S. Treasuries and a cash account to help reduce risk and provide consistent long-term returns.6

Read the NYSE® Zebra Edge® Index Guide

S&P 500® Index

Widely recognized as the leading indicator of the performance of the American economy and one of the most commonly followed equity indexes, the S&P 500 has nearly 60 years of history and consists of 500 large-cap, publicly traded companies.

Read the S&P 500® Index Guide


This index provides opportunity for exposure to a global mix of equities. Recognized as the preeminent benchmark for developed markets outside of North America, it represents equities in Europe, Australasia and the Far East.7

Read the MSCI EAFE Index Guide

Nationwide Defined Protection resources

Make the most out of your annuity.

Nationwide Defined Protection FAQs

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Age 85 for the annuitant; the owner may be any age.
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[1] Strategy Term is the 1- or 3-year period for which index performance is tracked and used and used to calculate earnings at the end of each Strategy Term. You may reallocate to a different Strategy or Strategies at the end of each Strategy Term.
[2] Strategy Spread is an annualized percentage used as a deduction in the calculation of Strategy Earnings, subject to the downside protection provided by the Strategy.
[3] The Protection Level respresents the amout of downside protection (100%, 95% or 90%) during the Strategy Term for each Strategy, assuming no Non-Preferred Withdrawals are taken. Protectin Levels are guaranteed at contract issue for the first Strategy Term and are subjet to change in each following Strategy Term. Non-Preferred Withdrawals may be subject to a Non-Preferred Withdrawal adjustment which may result in lossed greater than the floor provided by the Protection Level. Also not that losses over the term of the contract may be greater than the Protection Level selected for each individual Strategy Term.
[4] Participation Rate is the proportion of index performance that is reflected in the Strategy Earnings calculation.
[5] The strategy may not be successful and the index may be subject to increased volatility due to its use of leverage.
[6] The NYSE Zebra Edge Index relies on a risk control methodology and could underperform indexes that do not have a risk control overlay.
[7] International investing involves risk, such as currency fluctuations, economic instability, geographical challenges, political upheaval and differences in accounting standards.

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. Investing involves risk. A registered index-linked annuity is not a stock market investment and does not directly participate in any stock or equity investment. Guarantees are subject to the claims-paying ability of the issuing insurance company. If you take withdrawals before you're 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, reduce your death benefit and contract value.

The “S&P 500” is a product of S&P Dow Jones Indices LLC (“SPDJI”), and has been licensed for use by Nationwide Life and Annuity 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 Defined ProtectionSM 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 J.P. Morgan Mosaic IISM Index (“Index”) has been licensed to Nationwide Life and Annuity Insurance Company (the “Licensee”) for the Licensee’s benefit. Neither the Licensee nor Nationwide Defined Protection℠ Annuity (the “Product”) is sponsored, operated, endorsed, recommended, sold or promoted by J.P. Morgan Securities LLC (“JPMS”) or any of its affiliates (together and individually, “JPMorgan”). JPMorgan makes no representation and gives no warranty, express or implied, to contract owners taking exposure to the Product. Such persons should seek appropriate professional advice before making any investment. The Index has been designed and is compiled, calculated, maintained and sponsored by JPMS without regard to the Licensee, the Product or any contract owner. JPMorgan is under no obligation to continue compiling, calculating, maintaining or sponsoring the Index. JPMorgan may independently issue or sponsor other indices or products that are similar to and may compete with the Index and the Product. JPMorgan may also transact in assets referenced in the Index (or in financial instruments such as derivatives that reference those assets). These activities could have a positive or negative effect on the value of the Index and the Product.

The NYSE® Zebra Edge® Index has been licensed by ICE Data Indices, LLC (together with its subsidiaries and affiliates, “IDI”) to UBS AG and sublicensed by UBS AG (together with its subsidiaries and affiliates, “UBS”) to Nationwide Life and Annuity Insurance Company (“Nationwide”). Neither Nationwide nor the Nationwide New Heights® Select Fixed Indexed Annuity (the “Product”) is sponsored, operated, endorsed, recommended, sold or promoted by Zebra Capital Management, LLC (together with its affiliates and subsidiaries, “Zebra”), IDI or UBS, and in no event shall Zebra, IDI or UBS have any liability with respect to the Product or the Index. Zebra, IDI and UBS make no representations, give no express or implied warranties and have no obligations with regard to the Index, the Product or otherwise to any investor in the Product, client or other third party. The mark NYSE® is a registered trademark of NYSE Group, Inc., Intercontinental Exchange, Inc. or their affiliates and is being utilized by ICE Data Indices, LLC under license and agreement. The marks Zebra® and Zebra Edge® are registered trademarks of Zebra Capital Management, LLC, may not be used without prior authorization from Zebra Capital Management, LLC, and are being utilized by ICE Data Indices, LLC under license and agreement.

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.

Nationwide Defined Protection Annuity is an individual, single-purhase-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.

Nationwide Defined Protection is a service mark of Nationwide Mutual Insurance Company.