RRSP Update: CIBC Poll reveals one-quarter of eligible Canadians say they still have to make an RRSP contribution before the deadline

TORONTO, Feb. 23, 2012 /CNW/ - A new CIBC (CM: TSX; NYSE) Poll conducted by Harris/Decima reveals one quarter of eligible Canadians (25 per cent) say they still have to make their RRSP contribution for the 2011 tax year in the few days left before the deadline on February 29th, 2012. The poll, which concluded earlier this week, also revealed more than half of those that still have to make a contribution are planning to leave it to the very last minute - either February 28th or 29th.

The poll was conducted between February 16th - 20th, 2012 and shows a clear picture of Canadian retirement saving activity with days to go until the RRSP contribution deadline for the 2011 tax year.  Highlights of the poll include:

  • 25 per cent of Canadians say they still have to make a contribution to their RRSP for the 2011 tax year before the deadline
  • Canadians between the ages of 25 - 44 were among the most likely to still have to make their RRSP contribution (30 per cent)
  • Among those Canadians planning to make a contribution before the deadline, more than half (52 per cent) say they are likely to wait until the last couple of days before the deadline
  • As of February 20th, 32 per cent of eligible Canadians say they have already made a contribution to their RRSP for the 2011 tax year

"With many Canadians leaving their RRSP contributions to the last week, it's important to make some time today or over the weekend to sit down with an advisor, review your retirement savings options, and make a contribution," said Christina Kramer, Executive Vice President, Retail Distribution and Channel Strategy, CIBC. "Wherever possible, don't leave your contribution to the last minute. The money you invest today will help you achieve what matters to you later in life, and it is well worth the time to consider the investment options and savings strategies that are right for you."

While poll findings suggest a busy week ahead for RRSP contributions, not everyone has left their retirement savings contributions to the last few days. As of February 20th, 32 per cent of eligible Canadians had already made a RRSP contribution for the 2011 tax year, and 21 per cent of Canadians said they have already made a TFSA contribution this year.

The poll also shows some interesting regional differences among Canadians when it comes to making retirement savings contributions so far this year:

  • Eligible Alberta residents are among the most likely in the country to have already made their RRSP contribution for the 2011 tax year (38 per cent)
  • Eligible Manitoba and Saskatchewan residents are among the least likely in the country to have made their RRSP contribution for the 2011 tax year (21 per cent)
  • B.C residents are among the most proactive in the country, as only 16 per cent of eligible B.C. residents say they have to make an RRSP contribution before the deadline

"It's encouraging to see that some Canadians have already made a contribution to either their RRSP, TFSA or both, however there's an opportunity for even more Canadians to take advantage of these savings options as part of their long term retirement plans," added Ms. Kramer. "If you've fallen into the habit of making the same RRSP contribution near the deadline every year, it's particularly important to invest some time in re-evaluating your retirement plan to ensure you remain on track towards your goals."

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

Meet with an Advisor and Build or Review your Retirement Strategy: There is still time to meet with an advisor to discuss your long term retirement savings plan, including the income you need in retirement and the advice to make an informed decision about the investments that make sense for you.  An advisor can also help to identify opportunities to build savings and structure a repayment plan that allows for debt reduction, both key elements of a long term retirement strategy.

Set up next year's contribution now: Making regular contributions to your retirement plan is often easier than coming up with one lump sum before the RRSP contribution deadline. If you do make a last minute contribution this year, take that opportunity to start making regular contributions now for next year, so you won't need to come up with a lump sum contribution near the deadline in 12 months time.

Manage and Track Day to Day Spending: Managing cash flow effectively is a key element in both retirement savings and in making the most of your retirement income. Keeping track of spending can be accomplished through simple pen and paper budgeting, or using new tools such as CIBC Mobile Banking to keep on top your account, or CIBC CreditSmart to stay on budget with your credit card spending.

KEY POLL FINDINGS

Percentage of Canadians who still have to make an RRSP contribution before the February 29th, 2012 deadline for the 2011 tax year, by region:

National               25%
Atlantic Canada              33%
Quebec               24%
Ontario               28%
Manitoba and Saskatchewan             24%
Alberta                22%
British Columbia              16%

Percentage of Canadians who still have to make an RRSP contribution before the February 29th, 2012 deadline for the 2011 tax year, by age:

National                                  25%
18-24 years old                                16%
25-34 years old                                30%
35-44 years old                                30%
45-54 years old                                27%
55-64 years old                                23%
65+                                  10%

Percentage of eligible Canadians who have made their RRSP contribution for the 2011 tax year, as of February 20, 2012, by region:

National               32%
Atlantic Canada              36%
Quebec               31%
Ontario               31%
Manitoba and Saskatchewan             21%
Alberta                38%
British Columbia              33%

Percentage of eligible Canadians who have made their RRSP contribution for the 2011 tax year, as of February 20, 2012, by age:

National                                  32%
18-24 years old                                8%
25-34 years old                                31%
35-44 years old                                41%
45-54 years old                                40%
55-64 years old                                34%
65+                                  12%

*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 876 RRSP eligible Canadians between February 16 - 20, 2012. A sample of this size has a margin of error of +/-3.3%, 19 times out of 20.

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 Press Centre on our corporate website at www.cibc.com.

SOURCE CIBC

For further information:

Sean Hamilton, Director, Media Relations: (416) 304-8456 or sean.hamilton@cibc.com


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