Dividends continue to rise on a year-over-year basis, although the pace of that growth is slowing a bit. According to S&P Dow Jones Indices, the average dividend increase for stocks in the S&P 500 was 13.1 percent, down from 17.5 percent in 2014. All told, companies in the S&P paid out 10 percent more in dividends last year than they had in 2014.
This was the fifth straight year that dividend payments have grown by double digits. Dividends payouts have now set new records for four straight years.
But that growth isn't quite as robust as it once was. Back in 2011, the average dividend for a dividend-payer in the S&P rose by a whopping 26.5 percent - more than twice the rate of increase for last year.