BMO Survey: Canadians Uncertain This RRSP Season

Eighty per cent of Canadians not confident that their RRSP investments will provide enough to meet their retirement goals

TORONTO, Feb. 17 /CNW/ - Canadians have uncertainties about meeting their retirement goals and are not sure they are taking the right steps in planning for retirement, according to a survey released today by BMO Financial Group.

The survey, conducted by Leger Marketing and commissioned by BMO, found that:

    
    -  One-third of Canadians have no Registered Retirement Savings Plan
       (RRSP) investments
    -  Of those who do, an overwhelming majority (80 per cent) are not
       confident that their RRSP investments will provide enough for their
       retirement
    -  Nearly half do not feel they contribute enough to their RRSPs to meet
       their retirement goals
    

"A lot has changed over the last year and Canadians may not be feeling very confident," said Tina Di Vito, Director, Retirement Strategies, BMO Financial Group. "It's a good time for investors to re-evaluate how much volatility they can live with. We recommend that before making any investment decisions this RRSP season, it is important you take the time to understand what kind of investor you should be. We also recommend that Canadians start contributing as early and consistently as possible and spend the time to develop a retirement plan that focuses not only on the goal but also on a specific schedule to help them stay on track with savings."

How Much Do You Need for Retirement?

Research also showed that Canadians are not certain how much they need to set aside for a comfortable retirement:

    
    -  One in four respondents (25 per cent) said they simply do not know how
       much is required
    -  More than half (54 per cent) estimate that they will need to
       accumulate at least $550,000 to achieve their goal
    

"There is no magic, one-size-fits-all number," counsels Di Vito. "The amount you will need will largely depend on your personal circumstances and the kind of retirement lifestyle you want. The key is first to determine what your retirement years will look like and then start budgeting for them."

Improve Your RRSP Relationship

According to the survey most Canadians appreciate the importance of contributing regularly to an RRSP:

    
    -  Most (56 per cent) said they believe successful investors contribute
       to their plans either annually (22 per cent) or monthly (34 per cent)
    -  In reality, however, only 37 per cent say they make regular
       contributions to their RRSP
    -  One-third (33 per cent) of Canadians do not contribute to an RRSP at
       all
    

"The fact that so many Canadians have no money in RRSPs is troubling," cautions Di Vito. "Fewer employers are providing pension programs and people cannot count on the Canada Pension Plan to meet all their financial needs in retirement. It's essential that Canadians start contributing to a plan on a regular basis at the earliest possible age."

About the Survey:

The survey sought responses from a national random sample of 1,516 Canadian adults, 18 years of age or older, and was conducted between January 4 and January 7, 2010. This survey is estimated to have a margin of error of +/- 2.5 percentage points, 19 times out of 20.

SOURCE BMO BANK OF MONTREAL

For further information: For further information: For all media enquiries please contact: Nini Krishnappa, Toronto, nini.krishnappa@bmo.com, (416) 867-3996; Ronald Monet, Montreal, ronald.monet@bmo.com, (514) 877-1873


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