Nationwide Financial Services Inc. says retirement plan participants are more interested these days in having a plan investment option that is backed by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. (FDIC).

Nationwide Financial, a unit of Nationwide Mutual Insurance Company, Columbus, Ohio, says it has been adding FDIC-insured options to retirement plan offerings in response to changes in participants’ attitudes about retirement savings.

Participants still want to earn a competitive rate of return, but they are more interested in protecting principal, the company says.

In other insurance ideas news:

- Aetna Inc., Hartford (NYSE:AET), will be helping to fill the growing gaps in many employers’ health plans by offering voluntary critical illness insurance and accident plans from a unit of Allstate Corp., Northbrook, Ill. (NYSE:ALL).

Many employers have been increasing plan deductibles and coinsurance and co-payment requirements.

The Allstate voluntary products provide support the plan enrollees can use to pay out-of-pocket costs or everyday expenses if they become seriously ill or suffer a serious accident.

- PARTNERS & Simons Inc., Boston, a branding agency, says state and federal health reform efforts have created a need for changes in health insurance marketing strategies.

The firm has created a Reform Readiness program designed specifically to help insurers cope with the communications challenges created by regulatory changes.

- Allison Bell

Other critical illness insurance coverage from National Underwriter Life & Health: