Nationwide Financial Services Inc. is offering its first indexed annuity.[@@]

Nationwide, Columbus, Ohio, says its new Nationwide Clear Horizon Index Annuity is designed to be simple for investors to understand.

Index annuities offer a minimum guaranteed interest rate combined with an interest rate linked to a market index. In Clear Horizon’s case, that is the S&P 500.

Mark Phelan, a senior vice president of Nationwide, says the product eliminates complicated calculations such as monthly averaging and participation rates to determine the interest to be paid.

Clients can choose to invest in the index account or put part of their investment in an account that earns an annual rate of interest. All gains are credited annually, up to a cap, and are locked each year so they’re guaranteed not to be lost, even if the index later falls, Nationwide says.