The state of Arizona this week signed a five-year contract extension with Nationwide Retirement Solutions to provide deferred compensation plans for more than 26,000 plan participants.

Under terms of the contract, Nationwide Retirement Solutions, Nationwide's public-sector retirement plan unit, will continue to offer recordkeeping, marketing and education services for state employees.

"In today’s economy, many workers are looking for help and guidance when it comes to planning for and living in retirement," Anne Arvia, senior vice president of Retirement Plans for Nationwide Financial, said in a statement. "As the deferred compensation plan provider for the state of Arizona, we’ll work to ensure that the state’s employees have the service and support they need to help them achieve their retirement goals."

Columbus, Ohio-based Nationwide has been the exclusive administrator for the state of Arizona since 1976 and the new contract extends this partnership until 2016. With approximately $862 million in assets, the state of Arizona is one of Nationwide’s largest clients.

The firm offers retirement planning advice and services through all stages of retirement planning including personalized guidance available through one-on-one conversations with licensed financial professionals who can help guide them through key transitions such as changing jobs or retiring.

"We look forward to continuing this successful relationship," said Mike Smarik, Chairman of the Arizona Deferred Compensation Board, said in the statement. "Preparing for retirement is more important than it has ever been before and we are dedicated to offering our employees a comprehensive retirement savings program that is tailored to their unique needs."