On February 27th Standard & Poor's cut the estimated dividend payment rate for the index to $21.97. This compares to $28.39 that was paid in 2008. This represents a decline of 22.6%, which is the worst decline since the 36.3% decline in 1938. The indicated rate for the index for 2009 is now $22.90. This lower dividend reduces the yield on the S&P 500 Index to 2.99%. The yield based on the 2008 dividend equaled 3.86%.