NU Online News Service, Oct. 2, 4:28 p.m. – Nationwide Financial Services Inc., Columbus, Ohio, wants annuity beneficiaries to put benefits they receive in the hands of the life insurance agents and brokers who originally sold the annuities.

The company will be offering its Nationwide SECURE Account asset-retention program to variable and fixed annuity beneficiaries.

Up till now, the program has been available only to beneficiaries of Nationwide life insurance policies.

The program places benefits in an interest-bearing checking account owned by the beneficiary. Beneficiaries can withdraw funds at their own pace.

Nationwide calls active agents and brokers when the lump sums in the checking accounts are greater than $50,000. Investment professionals can then contact the beneficiary to offer financial assistance, Nationwide says.

About 70% of Nationwide annuity beneficiaries request lump-sum benefits, rather than annuitized benefits, the company estimates.