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CIBC Poll: Many Canadians leaving RRSP contributions to last minute

Procrastination on retirement savings becoming an annual habit for many Canadians, with half of those planning to contribute for 2014 tax year leaving it to final two weeks before deadline

TORONTO, Feb. 27, 2015 /CNW/ - Half of Canadians intending to contribute to an RRSP for the 2014 tax year have left it to the final two weeks before the March 2 deadline, finds the latest poll from CIBC (TSX: CM) (NYSE: CM).

The poll found that while only one-third of Canadians said they were intending to contribute to an RRSP for the 2014 tax year, half of them had yet to make their contribution by February 15th when the poll was completed. Another 14 per cent were still undecided on whether they were going to contribute.

Key findings of the poll include:

  • 32 per cent of Canadians intend to make an RRSP contribution for the 2014 tax year
    • 16 per cent said they still planned to contribute between February 16 and the March 2 deadline
  • In addition, 14 per cent said they were not sure yet whether they would contribute or not

"There's still time before Monday's deadline for Canadians to contribute to their RRSP and apply that contribution to their 2014 tax return," says Christina Kramer, Executive Vice President, Retail and Business Banking, CIBC. "While leaving your contribution to the last minute isn't ideal, it's important to make that contribution even if you're not yet certain where you will invest those funds for the long term."

Ms. Kramer noted that Canadians can contribute to a guaranteed investment today within their RRSP, then make longer term investment decisions about those funds when they have more time.

Canadians don't know why they have left it until the last minute

When asked why they left their RRSP contribution to the eleventh hour, nearly one-third (30 per cent) of Canadians said they were "unsure" why they procrastinated.

Others said it was because now is when they start thinking about tax season and looking for ways to reduce their taxes (21 per cent); 14 per cent said it was out of habit and 12 per cent said they didn't have the money until now to contribute.

Why Canadians aren't contributing to their RRSP this year

A prior CIBC poll revealed that more than half of Canadians (54 per cent) do not plan to contribute to their RRSP for the 2014 tax year, citing a lack of money (37 per cent); and a preference to invest in a TFSA (17 per cent) as the primary reasons.

Start now for next year

With Monday's deadline looming, Canadians who make a habit of contributing at the last minute or only just start thinking about 2014 tax returns should consider taking action now to get ahead of their 2015 planning to get themselves on a sounder financial and retirement planning footing. There are many tips to save early.

"Tax planning and retirement savings should be done year-round," says Ms. Kramer. "The key is to start early, save often and pay yourself first."

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 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, intend to make an RRSP contribution for the 2014 tax year 32%
Those still undecided 14%


Primary reasons why Canadians who plan to make an RRSP contribution for the 2014 tax year left it to the last minute, by percentage:

I'm not sure 30%
Now is when I start thinking about tax season and look for ways to reduce my taxes 21%
Out of habit, I always wait until the last minute 14%
I still don't have the money saved but I'm hoping to contribute by taking from my savings or borrowing it 13%
I haven't had the money until now to contribute 12%
I've been avoiding it because I'm not sure what to do 10%


Primary reasons why Canadians who do not plan to make an RRSP contribution for the 2014 tax year are not doing so, by percentage:

I don't have the money 37%
Other 20%
I prefer to invest in a TFSA or other investment options 17%
I don't need the tax benefit so I'd rather use the money elsewhere 9%
I am more focused on debt management right now than saving for retirement 9%
I have other priorities and I'm using the money I might otherwise have put into an RRSP for another purpose 5%
I had the money saved but an emergency happened and I needed to use these savings 2%


From February 13th to 15th 2015, an online survey was conducted among 1,504 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