Nationwide Offers Plan Sponsors Employer Stock Option

April 17, 2001 ( - Nationwide Financial has added the option of an employer stock fund to its BEST of AMERICA Retirement program, using a cash reserve to facilitate same day transactions.

In the Nationwide program, the employer stock fund is primarily invested in company common stock, with a small percentage invested in a money market fund.

Unitized Approach

The fund is unitized, and participants own fund units, rather than stock shares. As a result, the performance of the fund may differ from the performance of the employer stock, although general trends will be similar, according to Nationwide.

Without such an approach, interfund transfers and distributions must generally wait for the trade proceeds to be available, typically three business days.

Eligibility Requirements

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.

In addition, 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