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Hot FTSE 100 Dividends: Tesco PLC, Vodafone Group plc, J Sainsbury plc, Centrica PLC And GlaxoSmithKline plc All Yield Over 5.5%

TescoThese are desperate times for savers with their money in cash, but if you’re looking to generate income from company dividends, we’re living in a golden age.

A quick glance at the highest dividend-paying FTSE 100 companies shows five household names currently offer a yield that is least 11 times Bank of England base rate of 0.5%.

Tesco (LSE: TSCO), Vodafone Group (LSE: VOD), J Sainsbury (LSE: SBRY), Centrica (LSE: CNA) and GlaxoSmithKline (LSE: GSK) all yield 5.5% or more.

That compares to just 0.64% on the average easy access savings account, according to Moneyfacts.co.uk.

That is a hell of a gap.

Put Your Money To Work Today

This doesn’t mean savers should sling all their money into these hot dividend paying stocks.

They may be household name blue-chips, but unlike a savings account, your capital isn’t guaranteed.

However, if you understand the risks, and want to make your money work up to 11 times harder, they could prove a far more rewarding home for your money over the longer run.

Especially since you may get capital growth on top as well, when markets recover from their current torpor.

Tesco To Go

Tesco, still the UK’s biggest retailer despite its recent troubles, now yields an attention-grabbing 5.9%. That’s partly a consequence of the last dismal 12 months, during which time the share price has fallen 30%, as Tesco has lost customers, confidence, and in recent weeks, its chief executive Philip Clarke.

That makes Tesco a riskier investment than it should be, but priced at just 7.8 times earnings, it is starting to look like a real bargain.

If you can stand the risk, you can get a stonking income while you wait to see if new boss Dave Lewis can turn things round.

Phone Vodafone

Vodafone’s revenues are falling in Europe, and it has lost a fat stream of income after selling its stake in Verizon Wireless, but it still connected with incredible £10.2 billion of revenues in the first quarter.

Investors shouldn’t expect to bag plentiful capital growth, but following a recent 25% fall in its share price, you aren’t overpaying for its 5.6% yield.

The Super Market

Sainsbury’s is the only one of the big four supermarkets to hold onto its 16.4% market share, as Tesco, WM Morrison and Asda shed theirs to discounters Aldi and Lidl. That is pretty impressive, given the highly competitive grocery market. Management also has a progressive dividend policy, and currently it serves up a juicy 5.6%.

Give It Some Gas

With energy prices set to be a political football in the run-up to the 2015 election, British Gas owner Centrica’s share price has fallen 20% over the past year. Earnings have fallen this year, but management predicts a return to growth in 2015, and this solid utility yields 5.5% while you wait for the recovery.

Mucho Glaxo

Pharmaceutical giant GlaxoSmithKline has always been a top-yielder, and its recent woes, including falling US sales and bribery allegations in China, can’t overshadow its shiny 5.5% yield. That’s a hot dividend, and although its short-term growth prospects have cooled, Glaxo still looks like the perfect long-term buy and hold.

These are five of the hottest dividends on the FTSE 100. At least one of them features in our special report 5 Shares To Retire On. This free report by Motley Fool share analysts names Five FTSE 100 Favourites To Secure Your Retirement.

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Harvey Jones has no position in any shares mentioned. The Motley Fool has recommended GlaxoSmithKline. The Motley Fool owns shares of Tesco.