RRSP contributions down 8% this year

Will you contribute to an RRSP this year?

Fewer Canadians are contributing and many are still on the fence.


Three  in 10 (31%) of Canadians plan to contribute to their Registered Retirement Savings Plan (RRSP) this year, down from 39% in both 2012 and 2011, a new poll for Scotiabank ahead of this year’s March 3 deadline has found. Fourteen per cent are undecided.

With just eight weeks left to contribute and qualify for a tax deduction for the current tax year, roughly three-quarters of poll respondents with an RRSP said they’ve thought about contributing more but cite a lack of funds as the top reason for not contributing more.

The study also found that 40% of Canadians with an RRSP have withdrawn funds. Sixteen per cent did so to take advantage of the first-time Home Buyers Plan credit, which allows you to withdraw funds tax-free as long as you replace the amount within 15 years. Unfortunately, the study also revealed more people are dipping into their retirement savings to cover day-to-day living expenses (8% vs. 5% in 2012) pay down debt (8% vs. 6% in 2012) and pay for home renovations (5% vs. 3% in 2013).

“(RRSPs) continue to be an important and tax-effective way to maximize retirement savings. If affordability is an issue, a financial adviser can help identify ways to make that all-important contribution, big or small, as well as develop a financial plan to help achieve retirement goals,” Scotiabank’s Mike Henry said in a press release.

The Scotiabank study was conducted online for the third consecutive year using Harris/Decima’s online panel. A total of 1,029 completed surveys were collected from a random sample of panel members across Canada. The study was conducted from Nov. 12, 2013 to Nov. 27, 2013.

Will you contribute to an RRSP this year?

  • Yes (82%, 225 Votes)
  • No (13%, 36 Votes)
  • Undecided (5%, 14 Votes)

Total Voters: 275

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