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All about member dividends

May 2, 2023

You know this term because you've heard it so often. But do you really know how Desjardins member dividends work? Here are our answers to your questions to help you understand them better.

“What exactly are member dividends?”

By choosing Desjardins for their financial needs, members like you contribute to the organization's activities and profitability. In return, Desjardins redistributes part of its surpluses in the form of dividends1 to individual and business members2 3.

Part of these surpluses are paid out as individual dividends and another part is paid into the Community Development Fund. This is called a community dividend.

"How is the amount of the individual dividend calculated?"

There are 2 categories of individual member dividends: product dividends and volume dividends.

Product dividend

The product dividend is paid to members who have at least 1 eligible product in each of our 4 major product lines over the year. It can be up to a maximum of $50 and is prorated for each month that the eligibility criteria are met.

In concrete terms, that means having:

  1. An account (Everyday Transaction Account, such as a personal or joint chequing account, a non-registered savings account, etc)
  2. A loan, a line of credit or a credit card (mortgage, car loan, etc.)
  3. An investment product (market-linked guaranteed investment, TFSA, etc.)
  4. Insurance (auto, home, travel, etc.)

For those ages 30 and under, holding an eligible product in 3 of these 4 product lines is enough to qualify for the product dividend. In this case, a 25 year old with an Everyday Transaction Account, a credit card and tenant insurance will be eligible for the $50 product dividend prorated for the months in which the conditions are met.

Volume dividend

As the name implies, the volume dividend is determined by the volumes held in the 4 product lines. This dividend is personalized.

This dividend is based on a rate applied per $1000, for each eligible product in the various product lines. The idea is to put all the products from the same line on an equal footing:

  • Accounts
  • Loans, lines of credit and credit cards
  • Savings and investments
  • Insurance

For accounts, loans and lines of credit, the dividend is calculated based on the average balances4 over the year. For credit cards, it's based on net purchases5 made with your credit card over the year. For wealth management savings and investments, the dividend is calculated based on fees and commissions paid6. Finally, for insurance, it's based on premiums7.

To help you understand the amount of your dividend, a personalized display is available on AccèsD, in the My Dividend section, when the dividend is deposited to your account. Full details of the calculations, including the rates and amounts on which they’re based, are shown there. You'll be able to understand all the details on your situation.

"Are all members eligible for the dividend?"

Yes. If you’re a caisse member (credit Union member in Ontario), you qualify for the dividend6. This is one of the advantages of being a member of a financial cooperative like Desjardins.

This year, $403 million in individual dividends will be paid to our members.

To understand the criteria on which the calculations are based, refer to the question ”How is the amount of the dividend calculated?”

“Do we need to have a lot of money in our account to qualify?”

No. The main purpose of the dividend is to reward your commitment to your financial cooperative. Your right to the dividend isn't solely based on the sums deposited in your accounts.

The product dividend is a good example. It’s paid to you based on the number of eligible products you hold in your caisse, not on the amount of money you have. 

"What influences the amount of our dividend?"

The amount of the individual member dividend is influenced by many factors, including:

  • The number of eligible products held in each line (product dividend), but also prorated for the number of months you hold products that meet the eligibility criteria.
  • Age. For example, to qualify for the $50 maximum eligible for the product dividend, members aged 30 and under must hold 1 eligible product in 3 of the 4 product lines while a member 31 or older must hold 1 eligible product in each of the 4 product lines
  • Your volume dividend in each of the 4 product lines. But also, the rate applied per $1000, for each eligible product in the various product lines. The recommendation for allocating annual surplus earnings (that the rate is part of) is put to a vote at your caisse’s annual general meeting.1

"When will the dividend be paid?"

If you're a member of more than one caisse, the payments may be made on different dates. Go to the My Dividend section of AccèsD by June 6 to see the details of how your dividend is made up and to find out your amount for 2022.

Dividends will be paid from May 29 to June 6, 2023.

"What's the purpose of the Community Development Fund?"

At the annual general meeting (AGM), members in Quebec also choose to pay a share of surplus earnings as dividends to help better the community.  In Ontario, the board of directors makes the decision to pay a dividend to the community. Through its Community Development Fund, each caisse supports community projects in line with the needs of its territory. This year, close to $53 milllion will be paid out in this way.

"Why give a dividend?"

Remember that Desjardins is a cooperative whose mission is to contribute to the economic well-being of people and communities.

This cooperative spirit is what makes Desjardins one of the most important players in terms of socioeconomic development, notably with the GoodSpark Fund, the Community Development Fund, and its commitment to youth and innovation.

By entrusting Desjardins with your financial needs, you're contributing to the mission of your cooperative; in doing so, you could receive a portion of our surplus earnings.

Didn’t find the answer to your question in this article? Go to the Member dividends page.

1. For a caisse (Credit Union in Ontario) to pay member dividends, 2 conditions must be met:

  • Desjardins must have the financial capacity to pay a dividend.
  • In Quebec, caisse members must have decided to pay dividends. Members who attend the annual general meeting decide on the payment of member dividends and the payment of a portion of surplus earnings to the Community Development Fund, in accordance with all applicable legal requirements. In Ontario, members don't vote on the dividend. It’s the board of directors that decides whether or not to pay a dividend.

2. For businesses, the volume dividend is on the same products as individual members with the exception of insurance, which only takes into account property and casualty insurance for Quebec and is not available to The Personal General Insurance clients.

3. Business members are not eligible for the product dividend.

4. Average monthly volume held or due, weighted based on how long you held or used the product. 

5. Net purchases, which are the total amount of purchases minus refunds (for example, refunds from a business), made with the credit card over the year.

6. Based on fees and commissions paid for wealth management investment services provided by Desjardins Securities Inc. to the clients of Signature Service, Desjardins Securities and Desjardins Online Brokerage. For US dollar accounts, fees and commissions will be converted to Canadian dollars on the transaction date.

7. For businesses, the volume dividend is on property and casualty insurance for Quebec only and is not available to The Personal General Insurance clients.

8. You must have been a caisse member during the last fiscal year to be eligible for a member dividend.