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RRSP Update: Canadians leaving RRSP contributions to the last minute

Almost one-third of Canadians still planning to contribute as the March 3 deadline draws near

TORONTO, Feb. 25, 2014 /CNW/ - A new CIBC (CM: TSX; NYSE) poll conducted by Harris/Decima just two weeks before the March 3 deadline finds that almost one-third of eligible Canadians (31 percent) have left their planned Registered Retirement Savings Plan contributions for the 2013 tax year to the last minute.

Highlights of the poll include:

  • 31 per cent of Canadians are still planning to make a contribution before the deadline this year - in line with a similar poll last year, which found 32 per cent of Canadians had waited until the last minute for their RRSP contribution
  • Among those pushing up against the deadline, 15 per cent haven't made any RRSP contributions for the 2013 tax year, while another 16 per cent have put something away but still have more to contribute to reach their target investment for the year


"Our poll shows that once again, the last few days before the contribution deadline are going to be busy, as millions of Canadians make their final decisions about investing in their RRSPs," said Christina Kramer, Executive Vice President, Retail and Business Banking, CIBC. "While there are only a few days left until the contribution deadline, there is still time to sit down with an advisor and talk about which retirement savings option is right for you."

Ms. Kramer noted that while it's common to see a last-minute rush during RRSP season, some Canadians may be taking a risk by cutting it so close to the deadline. A CIBC poll in December found that 64 per cent of Canadians planning to contribute say they don't yet have the money set aside to do so, pointing to the importance of starting early and saving in smaller increments throughout the year rather than trying to find the money as the deadline approaches.

"Some Canadians find it difficult to come up with a lump sum for their RRSP, underscoring the importance of creating a budget and a regular savings plan for the year ahead to avoid the last-minute crunch," said Ms. Kramer. "Our research shows that less than one third of Canadians have a regular investment plan for retirement, which highlights how important it is to set up regular contributions for next year when you make this year's contribution."

Younger Canadians more likely to procrastinate

Among those most likely to leave their RRSP contribution to the last minute are Canadians aged 25-44, with 37 per cent saying they still need to make a contribution before the March 3 deadline. Notably, 22 per cent of Canadians in this age group have not made any contributions to date. Canadians closer to retirement fared slightly better, with only 9 per cent of 45-64 year-olds having made no contributions so far.

Past CIBC research notes that younger Canadians are often trying to balance debt repayment with savings, which may contribute to delaying their RRSP contributions.

"Canadians balancing debt and savings need to consider both sides of their finances when making decisions about retirement savings, which is what makes it even more important to spend some time evaluating their options before the deadline," added Ms. Kramer.

To help manage your last minute RRSP contributions, CIBC offers the following tips:

Visit your nearest CIBC branch to meet with an Advisor: An advisor can also help to identify opportunities to build your savings and structure a repayment plan that allows for debt reduction, both key elements of a long term retirement strategy.  You can locate your nearest CIBC branch through the branch locator tool at simply by entering your postal code.

Contribute by Phone: 24 hours a day, you can call 1-800-465-CIBC (2422) to discuss your RRSP options over the phone and make a contribution from an existing CIBC account.

Make your Contribution Online: CIBC clients can log into CIBC Online Banking at to deposit funds to an RRSP from an existing CIBC account before the deadline.

Contribute regularly: Even if you find yourself short on funds this year, now is the time to start making regular contributions to your retirement plan.  Contributing smaller amounts more often is easier than coming up with on lump sum, so that you don't find yourself in the same position before next year's RRSP deadline.


Percentage of Canadians who still have to make an RRSP contribution before the March 3, 2014 deadline for the 2013 tax year, by region:

National     31%
Atlantic Canada    29%
Quebec     32%
Ontario     32%
Manitoba and Saskatchewan   30%
Alberta      34%
British Columbia    29%


Percentage of Canadians who still have to make an RRSP contribution before the March 3, 2014 deadline for the 2013 tax year, by age:

National      31%
18-24 years old    50%
25-34 years old    33%
35-44 years old    34%
45-54 years old    31%
55-64 years old    27%
65+      12%


Percentage of Canadians who have already made a contribution but planning to contribute more, by region:

National     16%
Atlantic Canada    17%
Quebec     14%
Ontario     17%
Manitoba and Saskatchewan   19%
Alberta      17%
British Columbia    17%


Percentage of Canadians who have already made a contribution but planning to contribute more, by age:

National      16%
18-24 years old    11%
25-34 years old    14%
35-44 years old    17%
45-54 years old    21%
55-64 years old    19%
65+      6%


Percentage of Canadians who have not contributed yet, but are planning to contribute, by region:

National     15%
Atlantic Canada    11%
Quebec     19%
Ontario     15%
Manitoba and Saskatchewan   11%
Alberta      17%
British Columbia    12%


Percentage of Canadians who have not contributed yet, but are planning to contribute, by age:

National      15%
18-24 years old    39%
25-34 years old    19%
35-44 years old    17%
45-54 years old    10%
55-64 years old    9%
65+      5%


*Each week, Harris/Decima interviews just over 1000 Canadians through teleVox, the company's national telephone omnibus survey. These data were gathered in a sample of 885 RRSP eligible Canadians between February 13-17, 2014. A sample of this size has a margin of error of +/-3.3%, 19 times out of 20. Sample sizes for regional and age groups under Key Findings are smaller than typically reported and provided only as reference data.

CIBC is a leading North American financial institution with nearly 11 million personal banking and business clients. CIBC offers a full range of products and services through its comprehensive electronic banking network, branches and offices across Canada, and has offices in the United States and around the world. You can find other news releases and information about CIBC in our Media Centre on our corporate website at


For further information:

Caroline Van Hasselt, Director, External Communications, 416-784-6699 or