BMO Financial Group

BMO Financial Group
BMO Bank of Montreal

BMO Bank of Montreal

March 04, 2012 09:00 ET

BMO Annual Post-RRSP Deadline Study: Alberta Had Highest Participation For RRSPs This Year

- 42 per cent of Albertans contributed to an RRSP before the February 29th deadline - unchanged from last year

- The average RRSP contribution amount in Alberta was $3,980 while the national average was $4,670

- Nationally, men were more likely than women to have made a contribution

EDMONTON, ALBERTA--(Marketwire - March 4, 2012) - BMO Financial Group today released the findings of its Third Annual Post-RRSP Deadline Study, which found that 42 per cent of Albertans contributed or planned to contribute to their Registered Retirement Savings Plans (RRSPs) before the February 29th deadline. This tied Alberta with Manitoba and Saskatchewan for the highest participation rate in the country. The national average this year was 38 per cent.

Other key findings from Alberta:

  • On average, Albertans contributed $3,980 to their RRSPs this year. The national average was $4,670.
  • Mutual funds were the most popular investment choice for Albertans to put into their RRSPs (71 per cent), followed by Guaranteed Investment Certificates (23 per cent), equities (17 per cent) and bonds (16 per cent)

"It's a positive sign that Albertans were the most engaged in the country this RRSP season and seem to recognize the importance of saving for retirement," said Greg Allen, Divisional Sales Leader, Western Canada, BMO Retail Investments. "However, our study also showed that, while the participation rate in the province was healthy, the average amount contributed was significantly less than the national average. This is something Albertans need to consider when determining their RRSP contribution budget now and into the future."

Key National Findings:

  • Thirty-eight per cent of Canadians made a contribution this year (largely unchanged from the previous two years)
  • Canadian men (41 per cent) were more likely to contribute than women (34 per cent)
  • The average contribution was $4,670 (compared to $4,538 last year).
  • Mutual funds were the investment of choice this RRSP season with 59 per cent investing in them, followed by GICs (25 per cent), equities (22 per cent), bonds (12 per cent) and ETFs (6 per cent)
  • Of those who did not make a contribution this year, 61 per cent cited a lack of funds as being the reason

"Many Canadians are financially stretched and saving for retirement often gets pushed down the list of priorities," said Tina Di Vito, Head of the BMO Retirement Institute. "However, saving for retirement doesn't have to happen all at once. The key is to make regular contributions to your RRSP, regardless of the amount. You'll be surprised how quickly your nest egg will grow over time."

BMO offers advice on how to find those extra dollars for your RRSP:

  • Out of sight; out of mind - Setting up automatic bi-weekly payments from your bank account to your RRSP can be an easy way to generate savings.
  • Skip the latte - Filling up your cup at the office instead of buying from the local coffee shop can result in an extra $80 a month.
  • Brown bag it - Bringing a lunch from home every day can save upwards of $100 per month.
  • Cancel costly memberships - Cancelling memberships you are not using, such as a fitness or golf club membership, can clear up space in your expense column and add to your nest egg.
  • Mortgage free? - If you have finished paying off your mortgage, put the monthly payments towards an RRSP.

For more information on planning for retirement, please visit

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The survey was completed online from February 21, 2012 to February 23, 2012, using Leger Marketing's online panel, LegerWeb, with a sample of 1,500 Canadians. A probability sample of the same size would yield a margin of error of ± 2.5%, 19 times out of 20.

About BMO Financial Group

Established in 1817 as Bank of Montreal, BMO Financial Group is a highly-diversified North American financial services organization. With total assets of $538 billion as at January 31, 2012, and more than 47,000 employees, BMO Financial Group provides a broad range of retail banking, wealth management and investment banking products and solutions.

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