Skip to Content
News Releases
Canadians prioritizing their immediate savings goals over long-term investments: CIBC Poll

The ability to withdraw money tax-free at anytime takes priority over locked-in RRSPs

TORONTO, Feb. 12, 2024 /CNW/ - As the February 29th deadline to contribute to Registered Retirement Savings Plans (RRSPs) approaches, a new poll from CIBC has found Canadians are favouring the Tax-Free Saving Account (TFSA) over other longer horizon investment vehicles, like RRSPs, and the majority of Canadians (57 per cent) indicate they are more concerned with meeting their current needs vs. saving for their future.

Amid higher living costs, recessionary fears and global uncertainty, Canadian investors are continuing to focus their strategies for achieving predictable returns versus aggressive growth (42 per cent). 

Most Canadians (67 per cent) have some type of investment product; however, among investors that own both an RRSP and a TFSA, 45 per cent say they chose to contribute more to their TFSA. The majority (53 per cent) of those investors also agree that a TFSA contribution made more sense for their financial situation right now as it allows them to withdraw their money tax-free at anytime vs. a locked-in RRSP.

"The preference for short-term liquidity and stable returns suggests many Canadians are focused on today and less so on long-term accumulation of wealth or retirement," said Carissa Lucreziano, Vice-President Financial and Investment Advice, CIBC. "Planning for both short and longer-term ambitions can help individuals move beyond their immediate needs and envision how they can live for today, save for the future, accumulating wealth over time to support their retirement years."

This is especially important given that Canadians expect to retire at around age 60 on average – relatively unchanged over the last several years. Despite this, over half admit to either not being able to save, or not knowing whether they are saving enough for retirement. Many (57 per cent) worry they may run out of money in their retirement years while one third (31 per cent) say they have delayed their plans because of inflationary pressures and 23 per cent say they haven't started saving for retirement at all.

Additional poll findings include:

  • Women and younger Canadians under 35 are not investing to the same degree as others.
  • 29 years old is the mean age Canadians begin saving for retirement.
  • 43 per cent of RRSP holders have already made their contribution for the 2023 tax year.
    • Those that have contributed will put away roughly the same amount as they did last year.
    • The mean stated 2023 contribution amount is $5,642
    • 15 per cent of RRSP holders say they haven't contributed yet but plan to before the deadline.
  • One third of RRSP holders are not planning to make contributions this year.

These findings are from a Maru Public Opinion online survey undertaken exclusively for CIBC and fulfilled by the sample and analyst experts at Maru/Blue. The results were produced from a random selection of 1,1109 Canadian adults who hold or have managed investments and are Maru Voice Canada panelists January 31-February 1, 2024 and then weighted to be representative of the Canadian adult population. A probability sample of this size has an estimated margin of error (which measures sampling variability) of +/- 2.3%, 19 times out of 20.

About CIBC   

CIBC is a leading North American financial institution with 14 million personal banking, business, public sector and institutional clients. Across Personal and Business Banking, Commercial Banking and Wealth Management, and Capital Markets and Direct Financial Services businesses, CIBC offers a full range of advice, solutions and services through its leading digital banking network, and locations across Canada, in the United States and around the world. Ongoing news releases and more information about CIBC can be found at


For further information: Kira Smylie, CIBC Communications & Public Affairs, 416-980-2949 or