CIRI’s dividend policy states that the total CIRI dividend payment to shareholders in any given year is equal to 3.5 percent of total shareholders’ equity, calculated as of Dec. 31 of the prior year. The CIRI Board has approved the distribution dates shown in the table below for 2018. Dividend amounts will be calculated shortly before the date of record for the 2018 first quarter dividend distribution, which generally falls within the last two weeks of March.
As the first step in the process, the company’s 2017 accounting books must be “closed” (i.e., all 2017 expenses and income must be received and either paid or properly accounted for). Next, the finance and accounting department prepares CIRI’s 2017 financial statements, after which an independent accounting firm retained by CIRI reviews its financial statements and confirms their accuracy. This process will determine CIRI’s total shareholder equity upon which the 2018 dividends will be based.
When the Board declares a dividend, shareholders are notified via the newsletter, CIRI’s website and the dividend hotline, which can be accessed by dialing (907) 263-5100 in Anchorage or toll-free outside of Anchorage by dialing (800) 764-2435 (CHEK).
Once calculated, a table containing the dates and amounts for each type of payment CIRI expects to issue to shareholders in 2018 will be posted on CIRI’s website. Information on CIRI’s dividend policy may also be found online at ciri.com.
The trustees of the CIRI Elders’ Settlement Trust have approved the 2018 distribution schedule for Elders’ payments. As reflected in the table below, the payments will once again occur in the same months as CIRI’s quarterly distributions in order to reduce the number of months that some Elders lose their Social Security income payments because their monthly income exceeds limitations set by the Social Security Administration.
The trust mandates quarterly payments of $450 per eligible Elder for as long as the trust has assets available to make the distributions. Original shareholders who are 65 years of age or older and who own at least one share of CIRI stock as of these dates are eligible to receive payments. CIRI shareholders who are turning 65 and want to receive the payments do not need to do anything other than to keep a current mailing address with CIRI’s Shareholder Relations department.
CIRI shareholders voted in June 2003 to establish the Irrevocable Elders’ Settlement Trust. In accordance with the vote, CIRI initially funded the Trust with a $16 million contribution. At the time, it was anticipated that Elders would receive quarterly distributions of $450 until 2023. This projection was based upon assumptions regarding the performance of Trust investments over time and the number of beneficiaries. However, due to lower than predicted market returns as a result of the 2008 global economic downturn and the fact that shareholders are (thankfully) living longer than anticipated, the Trust could run out of money as early as the fall of 2019. The Trustees are working with CIRI to explore potential options for additional funding to extend the life of the Trust. Any news regarding the future of the Elders’ Settlement Trust will be shared in the Raven’s Circle and by other means.