3 of the safest ASX 200 dividend shares in Australia right now

I think these 3 shares pay the safest income you can find on the ASX

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Looking for 'safe' ASX 200 dividend shares on the share market is a journey without end. You can get close, but you'll never quite cross the line.

That's because there's no such thing as a 'safe dividend share'. Companies are never under any obligation to fund a dividend. So technically, we can't even call a company that has paid a dividend every year for a century an absolutely 100 per cent safe income stock.

But, we can get close. So today, let's discuss three ASX dividend shares that I think get about as close as you can get to being reliable income providers.

3 of the safest ASX 200 dividend shares on the market

Telstra Group Ltd (ASX: TLS)

First up is ASX 200 telco Telstra. Telstra is a beloved income stock for many ASX investors, and for good reason. The telco has been a strong dividend payer for decades now. It was also a star performer over the pandemic, keeping its payouts steady whilst others were delivering deep dividend cuts.

Telstra's earnings base is highly defensive – think about how many Australians would be to give up their mobile connections or home broadband.

Coupled with Telstra's tangible edge in network quality and coverage, I regard this company as one of the safest ASX shares money can buy for dividend income. At recent pricing, Telstra shares offer a fully-franked dividend yield of 4.51%.

Coles Group Ltd (ASX: COL)

Coles is another ASX dividend share that has demonstrated great strength and reliability in recent years. Similarly to Telstra, Coles shareholders got through 2020 and 2021 unscathed when it came to income. In fact, Coles was able to increase its annual dividend in both years.

Again, the company's earnings base proves why this was possible. Food, drinks and household essentials are essential buying for every Australian. And that means Coles, as one of the cheapest places to buy these life essentials, is always going to have a reliable stream of customers.

Coles shares last traded on a fully-franked dividend yield of 4.2%.

Transurban Group (ASX: TCL)

Finally, let's discuss ASX 200 toll road operator Transurban. If you live in Sydney or Melbourne, chances are you'd be intimately familiar with this company, or at least with the vast network of arterial toll roads it operates. Transurban owns almost every tolled road in Sydney, as well as several more across Melbourne, Brisbane and North America.

Many of Transurban's routes are major traffic arteries and difficult to avoid when motoring around our largest cities. Traffic volumes tend to be resilient to economic maladies like inflation and recessions, giving Transurban another defensive earnings base.

Speaking of inflation, Transurban has the right to raise its tolls on many of its roads every quarter by at least the rate of inflation. This makes it a great investment and gets close to a safe ASX dividend share for investors who want to keep ahead of price increases.

At the last traded price on Friday, Transurban shares came with a trailing dividend yield of 4.60%.

Motley Fool contributor Sebastian Bowen has positions in Telstra Group. The Motley Fool Australia's parent company Motley Fool Holdings Inc. has positions in and has recommended Transurban Group. The Motley Fool Australia has positions in and has recommended Coles Group and Telstra Group. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy. This article contains general investment advice only (under AFSL 400691). Authorised by Scott Phillips.

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