Sun Life Financial Inc. is raising its dividend after a federal regulator lifted restrictions last week that were put in place in the early days of the pandemic to help protect the country’s financial institutions.
The insurance company announced a supplementary dividend of 11 cents per share. The payment is in addition to the quarterly dividend of 55 cents per share it declared Nov. 3.
Combined, Sun Life says shareholders will receive a total quarterly dividend of 66 cents per share, a 20% increase from the prior quarterly dividend payment.
The company says it remains committed to a dividend payout ratio of 40 to 50% as part of its medium-term financial objectives.
The Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions lifted Covid-19-related restrictions last week when it said banks and insurers were free to increase dividends, resume share buybacks and raise executive compensation.
Manulife was the first insurer to raise its dividend after the announcement when it increased its quarterly payment to shareholders by 18%.