BMO Financial Group

BMO Financial Group
BMO Bank of Montreal

BMO Bank of Montreal

March 01, 2012 06:00 ET

BMO Annual Post-RRSP Deadline Study: One-Third of Atlantic Residents Made a Contribution This Year

- 32 per cent contributed to an RRSP before February 29th deadline

- Average contribution amount was $3,864

- Atlantic Canadians most likely in Canada to include equities in their RRSPs

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

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - March 1, 2012) - BMO Financial Group today released the findings of its Third Annual Post-RRSP Deadline Study, which found that almost one-third (32 per cent) of residents of Atlantic Canada had or planned to contribute to their Registered Retirement Savings Plans (RRSPs) before the February 29th deadline. This represents a slight increase over last year's regional contribution rate of 30 per cent but is lower than this year's national contribution rate of 38 per cent.

The study also found that:

  • The average RRSP contribution amount in Atlantic Canada was $3,864* (versus $5,538 last year)
  • Atlantic Canadians were the most likely in the country to include equities in their RRSPs (30 per cent versus 22 per cent nationally)*
  • Lack of available funds to invest was the most common reason Atlantic Canadians did not contribute before the deadline (66 per cent)

"It's encouraging that a third of Atlantic Canadians made saving for retirement a priority this year and decided to make a contribution to an RRSP," said Brian Wood, Investment Sales Manager, Nova Scotia, BMO Financial Group. "Increasingly, the onus is on Canadians to take personal responsibility for their retirement. Making regular contributions to savings vehicles such as RRSPs and TFSAs can play a critical role in helping secure your retirement."

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.

*Represents a small sample size

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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