Forty-three percent of Canadians report that they will make a contribution to their RRSP by the March 3 deadline.

More than one-third (35 percent) of Canadians say that they have already contributed to a registered retirement savings plan before the March 3, 2014 deadline, up five percent from this time last year, new research reveals.

BMO Financial Group reports this finding in its fourth annual national study of Registered Retirement Savings Plan. RRSPs are the Canadian equivalent of a U.S. tax-qualified individual retirement account.

The report reveals that 64 percent of those who have already made a contribution have contributed at least $2,000 to their RRSP and 40 percent have put in at least $5,000.The study also reveals that:

  • Forty-three percent of Canadians report that they will make a contribution to their RRSP by the March 3 deadline. This is down from the 50 percent who made a contribution last year;
  • Almost two-thirds (64 percent) of Canadians have an RRSP, compared to 67 percent this time last year;
  • One-third reported that they usually contribute the maximum amount to their RRSPs;
  • Last year, Canadians contributed an average of $3,544 to their RRSPs.

The study also examines the reasons why Canadians are not planning to make a contribution to an RRSP this year. These include:

  • Not having enough money to make a contribution (37 percent);
  • Having other expenses which take precedence (33 percent);
  • Prioritizing other investments (11 percent).

The following is a summary of RRSP contributions by region:

Region

Already made a contribution before the 2013 deadline

Expect to contribute to an RRSP before the 2013 deadline

Have an RRSP

Average amount contributed last year ($)

National

35%

43%

64%

3,544

Atlantic

30%

35%

60%

3,955

Quebec

29%

41%

53%

3,049

Ontario

41%

46%

68%

3,592

Prairies

41%

49%

81%

3,811

Alberta

34%

45%

65%

4,462

B.C.

31%

40%

69%

3,173