BMO’s Eighth Annual RRSP Study: More Than One Third of Canadians Not Planning to Contribute to their RRSPs This Year


BMO Financial Group today announced the findings of its annual Registered Retirement Savings Plan (RRSP) study, showing Canadians are not taking full advantage of the opportunity to save for the long-term and the tax benefits that result from contributing to an RRSP.

The study revealed that one third of Canadians are not making RRSP contributions a priority this year, with 40 per cent not having enough money to make a contribution.

The study also revealed that:

  • 47 per cent of Canadians plan to contribute to their RRSPs this year (steady from 46 per cent last year)
  • 36 per cent of Canadians are not planning to contribute to their RRSPs this year, while 17 per cent remain undecided with only a month left before the deadline
  • The average amount already contributed has decreased ($4,616 vs $5,088 last year)

“Although the number of Canadians planning to contribute to their RRSP has remained steady since last year, a number of Canadians are not using their RRSP as an effective way to save for retirement,” said Robert Armstrong, Vice President, Multi Asset Solutions, BMO Global Asset Management. “Consulting a financial professional or having a financial plan can help you better understand how to manage your money, so you are making the right financial choices that will benefit you in retirement.”

Mr. Armstrong added that, to help Canadians save for retirement and build their wealth, BMO offers BMO ETF Portfolios. The Portfolios are professionally managed and tailored to suit specific investment objectives, from fixed income to equity.

To Contribute or Not – Reasons Why

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

  • Not having enough money to make a contribution (40 per cent)
  • Having other expenses that take precedence (23 per cent)
  • Other investment options that take priority over contributing to an RRSP (8 per cent)

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

  • Receiving a tax refund (44 per cent)
  • Having enough to get by in retirement (42 per cent)
  • Having enough to achieve their ideal retirement lifestyle (38 per cent)

“Competing financial demands often make it difficult to put money aside for retirement,” said Mr. Armstrong. “Setting up a monthly purchase plan will allow for automatic and consistent contributions throughout the year, and will help avoid the stress associated with meeting the RRSP deadline.”

Regional Breakdown


% who will be
contributing to their
RRSP before this
year’s deadline

Average amount
Canadians have already

 Average amount
Canadians plan to






























The Eighth BMO RRSP Survey was conducted by Pollara Strategic Insights via an online survey between December 21 and 28, 2017, with an online sample of 1,500 adult Canadians. Data has been weighted using the latest census information 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 www.bmo.com/retirement.

For more information on investing, please visit bmo.com/investments.

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
Serving customers for 200 years and counting, BMO is a highly diversified financial services provider – the 8th largest bank, by assets, in North America. With total assets of $710 billion as of October 31, 2017, 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.

SOURCE BMO Financial Group



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