The dates on which stockholders are sent dividend payments. That is, the payment dates are the dates where stockholders receive dividends that they are either guaranteed (for preferred stock) or that was previously declared by the company (for common stock). Payment dates are fixed for preferred stock because the dividends are contractually guaranteed; however, they may change for common stock, particularly when the company changes its plowback rate. See also: Interest Dates.
The date on which a dividend will be paid to stockholders or on which interest will be paid to bondholders by the issuers' paying agents. In some cases, the issuers will have the payments made a day early so that the security holders will receive payment on the payment date.