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Dividend policy

At the Investor Update 2021 a.s.r. announced an amendment of its dividend policy. This new, progressive, dividend policy is into effect from 2022. 

Dividend policy up to and including fiscal year 2021

a.s.r. strives to annually pay dividend that creates sustainable long-term value for its shareholders. The dividend policy comprises a pay-out ratio for the total dividend 45% to 55% of the net operating result attributable to shareholders (i.e. net of tax and hybrid costs). a.s.r. intends to pay an interim dividend that is set at 40% of the total dividend for the previous year.

When proposing a dividend, a.s.r. will take into account, among other things, its capital position, financial leverage and liquidity position, regulatory requirements and strategic considerations as well as the expected developments thereof. There is no requirement or assurance that a.s.r. will declare and pay any dividends. In general, a.s.r. would not expect to distribute dividend if the Group level Solvency II ratio falls below 140%.

To support its ability to pay out the proposed dividend, a.s.r. seeks to maintain a liquidity buffer at the holding company (as at year-end) that is at least equal to or in excess of the dividends paid out in the previous year (representative for one year's dividend) plus the holding costs and interest payments for the one-year period. In addition, a.s.r. aims to ensure that the liquidity buffer during the year is sufficient to cover holding costs and interest payments for at least one year. However, a.s.r. seeks to hold as much capital and liquidity as possible at the regulated legal entities.

a.s.r. aims to operate at a Solvency II ratio above a management threshold level. This management threshold level is currently defined at 160% (standard formula) of the SCR. If and when a.s.r. operates above 180% for a prolonged period and a.s.r. cannot invest this capital in value-creating opportunities, a.s.r. may return capital to shareholders. If a.s.r. elects to return capital, it intends to do so in the form that is most efficient for shareholders at that specific point in time, such as additional dividends or share buy-backs. 

The dividend over fiscal year 2021 was based on the former dividend policy and amounts to € 2.42 per share.

Dividend policy from fiscal year 2022
As from fiscal year 2022 there will be no direct link to the net operating result. The dividend policy is a progressive dividend (low- to mid-single digit growth per annum), based on the total dividend over fiscal year 2021 as a starting point.
a.s.r. intends to pay an interim dividend that is set at 40% of the dividend for the previous year. The Solvency II threshold above which a.s.r. might return additional capital to shareholders is lowered to 175%. All other items of the existing dividend policy remain applicable. 

History of dividend paid
  Dividend (in € million) Dividend per share
2014¹ 139 0.93
2015¹ 170 1.13
20162 187 1.27
20173 230 1.63
2018 245 1.74
20194 267 1.90
20205 282 2.04
20216 329 2.42
20227 385 2.70

1 Restated for 2014 and 2015 based on 150 million shares. On 13 January, 12 June and 14 September 2017, a.s.r. purchased a total of 9 million shares in a share buy-back. These shares are held as treasury stock and are not eligible for dividend.

2 Based on 147 million shares after the share buy-back and withdrawal of 3 million shares.
3 The number of outstanding shares amounts to 141 million shares as at 31 December 2017, excluding 6 million treasury shares. 141 million shares are entitled to dividend over the 2017 annual result.

4 The number of outstanding shares amount to 140.748.799 shares as at 31 December 2019. a.s.r. purchased shares as part of the employee share plan during the course of 2019.
On 5 April 2020 a.s.r. announced to postpone the payment of the final dividend 2019 of €1.20 per share due to the recommendations of the Dutch Central Bank and EIOPA to postpone dividends.
On 4 August, a.s.r. announced to resume the postponed dividend distribution by distributing the final dividend 2019 and the interim dividend 2020.

The final dividend is € 1.28 per share. The interim dividend amounts to € 0.76 per share.

6 The final dividend is € 1.60 per share. The interim dividend amounts to € 0.82 per share.

7 The proposed final dividend is € 1.72 per share. The interim dividend amounts to € 0.98 per share.