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: Prairie Residents Have the Highest Contribution Rate for RRSPs This Year

- 42 per cent of Manitobans and Saskatchewanians made an RRSP contribution this year - tops in the country

- The two provinces contributed an average of $5,605 - $2,000 more than last year

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

WINNIPEG, MANITOBA and REGINA, SASKATCHEWAN--(Marketwire - March 4, 2012) - BMO Financial Group today released the findings of its Third Annual Post-RRSP Deadline Study, which found that Manitoba and Saskatchewan led the country (tied with Alberta) with 42 per cent of residents having made or planning to make a contribution to their Registered Retirement Savings Plan (RRSP) before the February 29th deadline. Last year, 38 per cent of residents from those two provinces made a contribution.

The study also found that:

  • Residents in Manitoba and Saskatchewan contributed an average of $5,605 to their RRSPs this year, up more than $2,000 from last year
  • Seventy per cent invested in mutual funds, followed by GICs (39 per cent), equities (16 per cent), bonds (11 per cent) and ETFs (4 per cent)

"It's great news that residents in Manitoba and Saskatchewan were the most active in the country in contributing to an RRSP," said Chris Dyer, Investment Sales Manager, Manitoba & Saskatchewan, BMO Financial Group. "However, the ongoing volatility we're seeing in the markets these days makes it critically important that people also have a financial plan in place that keeps them on track to effectively deal with future life events, including 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 rate 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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