General Accident frequently asked questions

What are cumulative irredeemable preference shares?

They are a class of shares that pay a fixed cumulative dividend, regardless of the earnings of the Company. The shares have a nominal value of £1. The fixed dividend is cumulative in nature, ie if the fixed dividend is not paid in one year it accrues and is payable as a debt to the shareholder until the dividend is brought up to date. The shares cannot be redeemed without approval by shareholders at an Extraordinary General Meeting.

What income do I receive from preference shares?

As a holder of preference shares you are entitled to a fixed dividend in priority to any dividend in respect of the ordinary shares. The rate is fixed depending upon the issue. There are two types of preference shares, 8 78% and 7 78%. This means that the dividend payment is fixed at the rate of 8 78 pence and 7 78 pence respectively each year for every £1 share held.

When are the dividends paid?

The dividend for the 8 78% preference shares is payable in equal half-yearly instalments in arrears on 1 January and 1 July each year. The dividend for the 7 78% preference shares is payable in equal half-yearly instalments in arrears on 1 April and 1 October each year.

Do I have to pay tax on my dividends?

Aviva plc dividends are announced and paid net of tax. Income tax at the basic rate of 10% is deducted from the gross dividend before the net dividend is paid to shareholders. This is referred to as your Tax Credit and is detailed on your tax voucher. If you need further information in respect of your individual circumstances, you should speak to an authorised financial advisor.

Where can I find the current value of the shares?

General Accident preference shares are listed on the London Stock Exchange and you can find their values on the Daily Official List of the Stock Exchange (www.londonstockexchange.com)

How do they differ from ordinary shares?

Your preference shares do not carry any voting rights and you are not normally entitled to attend the Company’s general meetings, although you may attend and vote on any class meetings that may affect your rights as a preference shareholder. However, on a winding up, preference shares carry a preferential right of return of capital ahead of the ordinary shares.

Why can I not attend the Company’s Annual General Meeting?

Holders of preference shares do not form part of the equity capital of the Company. Only equity shareholders have a right to attend and speak at a general meeting of the Company. As a preference shareholder you may only do so if the actual fixed dividend payments are in arrears.

Where can I find the company’s latest report and accounts?

The report and accounts are available on this website. However, if you require a hard copy of the reports and accounts you can contact the Company's Registrar, Computershare.