BMO Financial Group

BMO Financial Group
BMO Bank of Montreal

BMO Bank of Montreal

March 01, 2012 10:00 ET

REPEAT-BMO Annual Post-RRSP Deadline Study: B.C. Leads in Average Amount Contributed to RRSPs This Year

- British Columbians contributed an average of $6,700 to their RRSPs this year - more than any other region in Canada

- One-third of British Columbians made a contribution before the February 29th deadline

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

- Half of the province's contributors opted for mutual funds for their RRSPs (51 per cent), followed by equities (29 per cent), GICs (21 per cent), bonds (10 per cent) and ETFs (4 per cent)

VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA--(Marketwire - March 1, 2012) - BMO Financial Group today released the findings of its Third Annual Post-RRSP Deadline Study, which found that one-third of British Columbians contributed or planned to contribute to their Registered Retirement Savings Plans (RRSPs) before the February 29th deadline. Residents of B.C. also led the country in the average amount contributed at $6,700. This was $2,000 more than the national average contribution amount.

Other key findings from British Columbia:

  • 51 per cent invested in mutual funds for their RRSPs, followed by equities (29 per cent), GICs (21 per cent), bonds (10 per cent) and ETFs (4 per cent)
  • Fewer B.C. residents (55 per cent) cited a lack of funds as the reason they did not make a contribution compared to last year (72 per cent)

"Contributing to an RRSP remains the most effective way to save for retirement and British Columbians should feel pride in the fact that they led the country in the amount contributed this year," said Mark Breakspear, Investment Sales Manager, Vancouver Centre District, BMO Financial Group. "However, while a third of the province's residents made a contribution before the deadline, there still remains a significant number who didn't. We encourage these people to meet with a financial professional who can help them develop a financial plan and get them on track to secure their 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.

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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