Dividend - frequently asked questions

Ordinary shareholders

A dividend is an amount based on a company’s profits paid out to shareholders for each share they hold.

Dividends on Aviva plc ordinary shares are usually paid in May and November each year and by default are paid to shareholders by cheque.

From November 2017, Aviva will only pay cash dividends directly into a nominated bank account.  This provides shareholders with the following benefits:

  • Fast, secure and reduced environmental impact of paying dividends – we send out over 200,000 cheques each dividend.
  • No more fees for the replacement of lost cheques – one in five cheques from the 2015 interim dividend remain uncashed.

 For information on setting up your payment instruction, please visit Shareholder contacts.

The Company offers a Dividend Reinvestment Plan. The plan provides an option for eligible shareholders to purchase additional ordinary shares in the Company using their cash dividends. You can either join online or by completing a form that you can obtain from the Company's Registrar, Computershare. 

Full details can be found in the Plan explanatory booklet and terms and conditions.

Please note, this service is not appropriate for shareholders living in certain jurisdictions, for example North America. Please see clause 1 of the terms and conditions for more information.

With effect from 6th April 2016 the 10% tax credit on dividends has been replaced with an individual annual tax free allowance of £5,000 across all dividend income, above which there is a tax liability. For further information, please visit the HMRC.gov.uk website or view this publication released by HMRC. For queries about your own tax position, please speak to an independent tax advisor.

Shareholders will receive one annual dividend confirmation giving details of their total dividends for the previous tax year.  This is usually sent with the AGM mailing in March/April each year.

Providing one annual dividend confirmation ensures that you receive a complete record of the dividends you have received on your shares in time for completing your tax return.

Separate tax vouchers have previously been issued to preference shareholders and those receiving communications electronically.  We are introducing annual dividend confirmations for these shareholders for the 2016/2017 tax year as follows:

2016/2017

Share type 1st dividend on annual dividend confirmation* 2nd dividend on annual dividend confirmation* Annual dividend confirmation issued:
Ordinary, email recipient 17/05/2016 17/11/2016 March/April 2017
Aviva 8 ¾% preference 30/06/2016 31/12/2016 31/12/2016
Aviva 8 ⅜% preference 30/09/2016 31/03/2017 31/03/2017
GA 8 ⅞% preference 01/07/2016 01/01/2017 01/01/2017
GA 7 ⅞% preference 01/10/2016 01/04/2017 01/04/2017
* these dividend payment dates are provisional only until each dividend has been formally approved and declared.

Any shareholder receiving their dividends by cheque, or through the Dividend Reinvestment Plan, will receive an individual dividend confirmation at the time of each dividend.

From May 2017, shareholders who wish to receive their dividends in a currency other than Pound Sterling can elect to receive their dividends in Euros, free of charge, directly into a nominated Euro bank account in the Single Euro Payments Area (SEPA).

Simply complete an online instruction (details here), complete a mandate form sent with recent dividend cheques to those living in a SEPA zone country or contact Computershare. Alternatively shareholders may receive their dividend in over 100 international currencies using the Global Payment Service (fees apply). 

Preference shareholders

Aviva plc
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 ¾% and 8 3⁄8%. This means that the dividend payment is fixed at the rate of 8 ¾ pence and 8 3⁄8 pence respectively each year for every £1 share held.

General Accident plc
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 7⁄8% and 7 7⁄8%. This means that the dividend payment is fixed at the rate of 8 7⁄8 pence and 7 7⁄8 pence respectively each year for every £1 share held.

Aviva plc
The dividend for the 8 ¾% preference shares is payable in equal half-yearly instalments in arrears on 30 June and 31 December each year. The dividend for the 8 3⁄8% preference shares is payable in equal half-yearly instalments in arrears on 31 March and 30 September each year.

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

From November 2017, all Aviva plc and General Accident plc preference dividends will be paid directly into a nominated bank account.  The last dividends that Aviva plc and General Accident plc preference shareholders will issue cheques are 30 June 2017 and 30 September 2017 for Aviva plc, and 1 July 2017 and 1 October 2017 for General Accident plc.

American depository receipt holders

Aviva generally pays any dividend twice a year following the announcement of the Company’s full year and half year results. Citibank will provide further information as it is made available to ADR holders.

Aviva plc ADR dividends are paid in US dollars. There is no withholding tax for UK based ADRs. You should always consult with your tax advisor regarding tax treatment and tax reporting. Please note that your tax identification number at Cititbank must be tax certified. This can be done by completing and submitting a W-9 form to Citibank which can be obtained by contacting Citibank Shareholder Services .

An ADR statement detailing your total ADR holding will be sent to you as activity occurs. Examples of activity to your account will include share purchases or sales via the International Direct Investment Programme or Direct Registration System (DRS) programmes for Aviva plc. Please note dividend cheque payments do not generate account statements.

For general information on Aviva plc and the latest dividends paid by the company, please refer to Manage your Shares. Alternatively, visit www.citi.com/dr and go to the “ADR Universe” section of the site and click on “Corporate Actions” or “Dividend Announcements” for information relevant to Aviva plc ADRs. You can also contact Citibank Shareholder Services.

You can request a replacement for a lost cheque by calling Citibank Shareholder Services . Upon your authorisation, a stop payment order will be placed against the original cheque and a replacement cheque will be issued to you.