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CIBC Poll: More than half of Canadians won't be contributing to an RRSP this year

Of those still planning to contribute, many do not have the money set aside

TORONTO, Feb. 23, 2015 /CNW/ - With just one week to go until the March 2nd deadline, a new poll from CIBC (TSX: CM) (NYSE: CM) finds that more than half (54 per cent) of Canadians will not be making a contribution to their RRSPs for the 2014 tax year. Less than one-third (32 per cent) of Canadians expect to add to their retirement funds and of those who may still make a contribution, less than half (42 per cent) have the money to do so.

Key findings of the poll include:

  • 54 per cent of Canadians say they are not making a contribution to their RRSPs for the 2014 tax year
  • 32 per cent of Canadians intend to contribute for the 2014 tax year
    • 16 per cent have already made their entire RRSP contribution for 2014
    • 16 per cent say they still plan to contribute or make an additional contribution towards their 2014 RRSPs;
  • 14 per cent say they are not sure yet whether they will contribute or not
  • Of those who may still make a an RRSP contribution before the March 2 deadline, only 42 per cent have the funds for their contributions set aside

"With the deadline fast approaching, many Canadians could miss the opportunity to contribute to their retirement through an RRSP before the March 2nd deadline," says Christina Kramer, Executive Vice President, Retail and Business Banking, CIBC. "Among those who intend to contribute but don't have any money set aside, there is a chance that some of them will miss out on contributing this year as well."

Don't wait to the last minute

Of those Canadians who said they were still planning on contributing most of them do not have the money for their contributions set aside. Half (50 per cent) said they planned to get the money for their contributions by taking it from their earnings.

"It's very challenging to save up a year's worth of your RRSP contribution in the few weeks before the deadline," says Ms. Kramer.  "At this time of year, some families are still focused on paying off their holiday purchases or planning spring getaways, which makes pulling an RRSP contribution together at the last minute even more challenging."

Set up automatic contributions now for next year

"For those that may be scrambling this year to make an RRSP contribution by the deadline, this is an opportune time to start planning for next year with regular contributions that are easier to work into your day to day budget," says Ms. Kramer.

Setting up a regular investment plan to automatically withdraw smaller amounts from your account throughout the year towards an RRSP, rather than trying to find the funds for a large lump payment at the deadline, will help ensure you don't miss the opportunity to contribute next year.

Advice on Maximizing Retirement Savings

  • Talk to an Advisor - Meet with an advisor to understand your options, and work with them to develop a plan that can help you in managing multiple financial priorities and staying on track over the long term.
  • Contribute regularly - Set up a regular investment plan to automatically withdraw smaller amounts throughout the year, rather than trying to find the funds for a large lump payment at the deadline.
  • Track and manage day-to-day spending - Take a hard look at your budget; saving for retirement may mean delaying some consumption from the present to the future.


Percentage of Canadians who plan to make a contribution to their RRSP for the 2014 tax year:

No, I am not making an RRSP contribution for the 2014 tax year 54%
Yes, I have already made my entire contribution 16%
Yes, I plan to make a contribution/additional contribution by the March 2 deadline 16%
I'm not sure yet 14%


Of those Canadians planning to make an RRSP contribution or not sure, percentage who already have the funds set aside for their planned contribution?

Yes 42%
No 41%
Don't know   18%


From January 21st to 22nd 2015, and from February 13th to 14th 2015, online surveys were conducted among 1,505 randomly selected Canadian adults who are Angus Reid Forum panelists. The margin of error—which measures sampling variability—is +/- 2.53%, 19 times out of 20. The results have been statistically weighted according to education, age, gender and region (and in Quebec language) Census data to ensure a sample representative of the entire adult population of Canada. Discrepancies in or between totals are due to rounding.

About CIBC
CIBC is a leading Canadian-based global financial institution with nearly 11 million personal banking and business clients. Through our three major business units - Retail and Business Banking, Wealth Management and Wholesale Banking - CIBC offers a full range of products and services through its comprehensive electronic banking network, branches and offices across Canada with 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