BMO Financial Group
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BMO Financial Group
BMO Bank of Montreal

BMO Bank of Montreal

March 01, 2012 06:00 ET

BMO Annual Post-RRSP Deadline Study: More Than One-Third of Ontarians Contributed to an RRSP This Year

- 38 per cent contributed to an RRSP before Feb. 29th deadline - the same as the national average

- Ontarians contributed an average of $4,038 - $900 less than last year

- More than half (60 per cent) of the province's contributors opted for mutual funds for their RRSPs, followed by GICs (26 per cent), equities (22 per cent), bonds (6 per cent) and ETFs (6 per cent)

- Nationally, men more likely than women to have contributed

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - March 1, 2012) - BMO Financial Group today released the findings of its Third Annual Post-RRSP Deadline Study, which found that, despite ongoing volatility in the financial markets, 38 per cent of Ontarians had contributed or planned to contribute to their Registered Retirement Savings Plans (RRSPs) before the February 29th deadline. This mirrored the national contribution rate and essentially matched last year's provincial rate of 40 per cent.

The study also found that:

  • Ontarians contributed an average of $4,038 to their RRSPs this year, compared to $4,970 last year
  • Sixty per cent invested in mutual funds for their RRSP contribution, followed by GICs (26 per cent), equities (22 per cent), bonds (6 per cent), and ETFs (6 per cent)

"It's encouraging that almost 40 per cent of Ontarians contributed to their RRSPs this year despite the volatility we've seen in the financial markets," said Larry Moser, Regional Sales Manager, Eastern Ontario, BMO Bank of Montreal. "Contributing to an RRSP remains one of the most effective ways to secure your retirement so it's important that Ontarians make every attempt to maximize their contribution annually."

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 www.bmo.com/retirement.

Get the latest BMO press releases via Twitter by following @BMOmedia.

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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