Giving back to the community is at the heart of Desjardins' values. Every year, the financial cooperative shares part of its surplus earnings with its members. The individual amounts that each person receives are called member dividends.
Not all financial institutions give out dividends, so you might be wondering if they apply to you. At Desjardins, as long as you're a caisse member, you could receive a dividend.
If you're already a member, knowing how dividends are calculated can give you an idea of how much you could get back this year.
Here's how dividends work.
First, the cooperative has to be doing well enough financially to afford paying out dividends. As long as that condition is met (among a few others), members can attend their caisse's annual general meeting to vote on how they want to redistribute surplus earnings. After the vote, Desjardins calculates and pays out individual dividends.
The whole process happens once every year. This year, dividends will be deposited into members' accounts between May 31 and June 14, 2021.
The total individual amount that's paid out to eligible members is made up of two kinds of dividends: product dividends and volume dividends. These are both calculated differently, so you'll need to take several criteria into account to find out how much you could receive.
You could receive a product dividend of up to $50 if, over the course of 2020, you had at least one product in each of these product lines:
- Cards, loans and credit
- Savings and investments
If you're 30 years old or younger, you're eligible if you had a product in only three of the four lines. In other words, if you're 25 and you had a savings account, a credit card and renter's insurance with Desjardins all through 2020, you could get $50 back.
These dividends are calculated based on two things: the average account balance (or premium, for insurance products) that you've kept all year in each product line, and the percentage that members voted on during your caisse's annual general meeting. For every $1,000 you'll get an amount back.
If you want to have a say in your caisse's decisions, you can attend your caisse's annual general meeting. These meetings give all Desjardins members an equal opportunity to speak up about what matters most to them. Plus, with the meetings all online, it's never been easier to attend.
While you're waiting to receive your 2020 member dividend, you can log in to AccèsD to easily check how much was deposited into your account in previous years.
If you're using the Desjardins mobile app, simply scroll down to the "Quick access" section and click on the "My dividend" icon. From there, you can pick a year from the drop-down menu. In your web browser, the "My dividend" tab is in the right-hand menu.
This year, a total of 330 million dollars' worth of member dividends will be paid out. If you're a Desjardins member and you've never received a dividend, take a look at their list of eligible products.
To learn more about member dividends and find out if you could be eligible, check out Desjardins' website or follow them on Facebook or Instagram.
This article was originally published in French on Narcity Québec.