COVID-19 hasn't dulled many Canadians' RRSP focus

Survey gives glimpse into behaviours and attitudes towards contributions

COVID-19 hasn't dulled many Canadians' RRSP focus

The impact of the pandemic last year has been decidedly uneven, with many Canadians being forced further into debt as others benefit from increased savings due to lifestyle changes.

But a new survey suggests that, with respect to RRSP contributions, the overall upshot has been a limited impact on people’s ability or willingness to save for retirement.

In a study conducted by Pollara Strategic Insights for IG Wealth Management, one third of Canadians (31%) said they’d already contributed or were planning to contribute to their RRSPs before the March 1 deadline, in spite of disruptions caused by COVID-19.

The findings are in line with another survey conducted by Edward Jones, where one third of polled Canadians said they’re contributing to their RRSP.

Among the respondents who said they contributed or would be making contributions, there was a consensus that the pandemic has had little impact on their ability to save for their retirement through their RRSPs relative to last year.

"It's encouraging to see that Canadians are continuing to prioritize retirement planning during this challenging period," said IG Wealth Management President and CEO Damon Murchison. “RRSP contributions can play a key role when saving for retirement.”

Delving further into the results, just nine per cent said that they’re contributing less to their RRSPs this year. Another 13% said they plan to contribute more, while 20% said they’ll be putting in the same amount as they did last year. Overall, the average amount adult Canadians said they’re intending to put in their RRSPs for the 2020 tax year is $4,000.

While the results paint a positive picture of individuals who keep on keeping on with their retirement savings plans, the ideal strategy would consider all pillars of retirement income.

As Murchison noted, Canadians preparing for their post-work life must take into account all potential sources of retirement income, including both registered and non-registered investments; government-provided pension income; and private pension plans.

Canadians planning in preparation for their ideal retirement lifestyle, Murchison said, can benefit from working with professional advisors who are able to “take into consideration other financial dimensions, such as insurance, tax strategies, estate planning and budgeting.”


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