BMO Financial Group 200

BMO Financial Group 200

February 01, 2017 08:00 ET

BMO Annual RRSP Study: Fewer Canadians to Contribute This Year, but Average Contribution Amount Increases Significantly

- Forty-six per cent have already contributed or plan to contribute before the March 1st deadline, down four per cent from last year

- For those who have already contributed this year, the average amount is $5,088 - an increase of $1,100 over last year

- National survey with regional breakdowns

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwired - Feb. 1, 2017) - BMO Financial Group today announced the results of its annual Registered Retirement Savings Plan (RRSP) study, showing fewer Canadians plan to contribute this year compared to last year (46 per cent vs 50 per cent), while the average amount has increased ($5,088 vs $3,984).

"Though overall intention to contribute has declined, it's encouraging to see that Canadians who have already contributed for the 2016 tax year have increased their contribution significantly," said Robert Armstrong, Vice President, BMO Global Asset Management. "However, contributing is just the first step. It's also important to take into consideration how you manage that money once it's in your RRSP. Finding ways to grow that nest egg is critical to securing a comfortable retirement."

Mr. Armstrong added that, to help Canadians save for retirement and build their wealth, BMO Investments Inc. offers BMO SelectTrust® Portfolios and BMO Growth GIC. The Portfolios are professionally managed and designed to fit different investment styles and risk levels, which allows customers to choose a portfolio that is best suited to their individual investment goals.

To Contribute or Not?

The study also examined why many Canadians are not planning to make a contribution to an RRSP this year:

  • Not having enough money to make a contribution (42 per cent)
  • Having other expenses that take precedence (28 per cent)
  • Other investment options that take priority over contributing to an RRSP (10 per cent)

Top reasons driving Canadians to make retirement saving a priority this year include:

  • Having enough to get by in retirement (40 per cent)
  • Receiving a tax refund (39 per cent)
  • Having enough to achieve their ideal retirement lifestyle (35 per cent)

"Understandably, that competing financial demands make it difficult to put money aside for retirement," said Mr. Armstrong. "A financial plan will help you to identify how much you need to save and invest for ΓöÇ making it easier to invest for major milestones in life such as retirement, your children's education or even a big purchase in the future like a home. Saving for retirement doesn't have to happen all at once. By starting early and contributing small amounts at regular intervals, you'll see how compounding and dollar cost averaging benefit your savings over time."

Regional Breakdown

Region % who will be
contributing to their
RRSP before this
year's deadline
Average amount Canadians
have already contributed
Average amount Canadians
plan to contribute
National 46 $5,088 $3,304
Atlantic 40 $5,557 $2,439
Quebec 45 $4,521 $3,107
Ontario 46 $4,485 $3,532
Prairies 42 $2,112 $2,589
Alberta 56 $7,333 $3,420
B.C. 44 $6,623 $3,897

The BMO RRSP Survey was conducted by Pollara between December 14th and 19th 2016, with an online sample of 1 500 adult Canadians. Data has been weighted using the latest census data to be representative in terms of age, gender and region. The margin of error for a probability sample size of 1,500 is ± 2.5% 19 times out of 20.

For more information on saving for retirement, please visit

For more information on investing, please visit

Get the latest BMO press releases via Twitter by following @BMOmedia. Also, get additional timely updates, related articles and insights on Twitter, Facebook and Linkedin.

About BMO Financial Group

Established in 1817, and currently marking its 200th year of operations, BMO Financial Group is a highly diversified financial services provider based in North America. With total assets of $688 billion as of October 31, 2016, and more than 45,000 employees, BMO provides a broad range of personal and commercial banking, wealth management and investment banking products and services to more than 12 million customers and conducts business through three operating groups: Personal and Commercial Banking, Wealth Management and BMO Capital Markets.

Contact Information