BMO Financial Group
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BMO Financial Group

March 04, 2011 04:00 ET

BMO: Four in Ten Canadians Made An RRSP Contribution This Year

- Four in Ten Contributed to Their RRSPs This Year-Mirroring Last Year's Level

- Two-Thirds Plan on Using Their RRSP Tax Refund to Reinvest in an RRSP/TFSA or Pay Down Debt

- Average Contribution Amount Was $4,700

- Of Those Who Didn't Contribute, 67 per cent Cited Lack of Funds as the Reason

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - March 4, 2011) - With the 2010 contribution deadline now past, BMO Financial Group today released the results of a survey conducted during the last week of RRSP season indicating that only four in ten Canadians (39 per cent) made a contribution or were planning to contribute to their RRSP before the deadline. 

These results mirror those from a similar BMO study conducted the same time last year, which found that only 38 per cent of respondents had contributed to their RRSP for the 2009 tax year.

Of those that did contribute, almost two-thirds (65 per cent) were planning on using their tax refunds to either reinvest in an RRSP/TFSA or pay down debt.

"We are quite surprised that the number of Canadians contributing to their RRSP has not increased this year, especially considering the upturn in our economy," said Caroline Dabu, Vice President, Retirement & Financial Planning Strategy, BMO Financial Group. "However, we are encouraged that the vast majority of those who did make a contribution will be using their resulting tax refunds wisely and either reinvest the money or use it to pay bills or reduce their debt load."

Ms. Dabu reminded Canadians that, although contributing to an RRSP may seem like a big commitment, it does not have to be. "The key is to put aside an amount that meets your comfort level, even if it's a modest sum."

The study, conducted by Leger Marketing for BMO Financial Group, indicated that the average amount contributed was $4,700. The survey also found that, as contributors get older, the amounts of the RRSP contributions rise.

Those who did not contribute towards their RRSP before the March 1 deadline cited the following reasons:

  • Lack of funds (67 per cent)
  • Already having enough money saved to afford an ideal retirement lifestyle (14 per cent)
  • Lack of confidence in the market (six per cent)

Those Canadians who did contribute and who expect a tax refund plan on using their refund for:

  • Reinvesting in an RRSP or TFSA (33 per cent) 
  • Paying bills and/or putting towards paying off credit card balances (32 per cent)
  • Home renovations or household expenses (11 per cent)

The online survey was conducted by Leger Marketing from February 21 – 24, 2011, with 1502 Canadian adults. 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 $413 billion as at January 31, 2010, and more than 38,000 employees, BMO Financial Group provides a broad range of retail banking, wealth management and investment banking products and solutions.

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