Momentum is building for Tax-Free Savings Accounts, according to new research

    
    To further stimulate saving, ING DIRECT offers a Kick Start for 2010
    Tax-Free Savings Accounts...right now
    

TORONTO, Oct. 13 /CNW/ - While most Canadians are not yet taking advantage of Tax-Free Savings Accounts, more are expecting to before year-end and even more intend to invest in 2010 - this, according to an online poll of nearly 1,000 Canadians conducted by Angus Reid Strategies for ING DIRECT Canada.

While only 34% of Canadians have set up a Tax-Free Savings Account since the Federal Government launched TFSAs in January 2009, another 11% of Canadians say they intend to open a TFSA before year-end, while even more Canadians (49%) expect to contribute to a TFSA in 2010.

"At ING DIRECT, we encourage Canadians to save their money and we think Tax-Free Savings Accounts are a great way to do that," says Peter Aceto, President & CEO of ING DIRECT. "Your money works harder because you don't pay tax on the interest earned and with the power of compound interest, your money will grow even faster. We've seen how much Canadians can save, even through difficult financial times. Since ING DIRECT Canada began offering high interest savings accounts in 1997, we've paid over $4 Billion in interest to our clients, all while not charging fees on savings."

    
    Research Highlights:

    Of those saving, most are saving the maximum allowed

    -   Of those Canadians who already have TFSAs, 43% contributed between
        $4,001 and the $5,000 maximum allowed for the year, indicating that
        those who are saving tax-free, are saving as much as possible.

    One-in-five respondents have an ING DIRECT TFSA

    -   The survey found that 18% of respondents have opened a TFSA with
        ING DIRECT, followed by the 'big 5' - TD Bank Financial Group (11%),
        Bank of Montreal (9%), Royal Bank of Canada (8%), CIBC (3%), and
        Bank of Nova Scotia (3%).
    -   ING DIRECT was the first to offer an early way to contribute to TFSAs
        by launching a special savings account in October 2008 which paid
        double interest until December 31, 2008 to cover any taxes that may
        have been incurred on the money invested. The money invested was
        ear-marked for a Tax-Free Investment Savings Account which was
        officially set up for clients on January 1, 2009.

    More Canadians expecting to contribute to TFSAs in 2010, and as soon as
possible

    -   Nearly half of Canadians (49%) report they will contribute to a TFSA
        in 2010.
    -   Of those intending to contribute to TFSAs in 2010, 63% say they plan
        to take advantage of the TFSA as soon as possible for 2010 to
        maximize their tax savings (31% were unsure, 6% said no).
    

ING DIRECT has a way for Canadians to kick start their 2010 tax-free savings right now

While the 'Tax Man' doesn't allow 2010 TFSA contributions until January 1, 2010, ING DIRECT is again offering a way to help new and existing clients save their money faster, by creating the 2010 TFSA Kick Start Account. Canadians can make next year's contribution today and start earning interest right now. While this account is not an official TFSA yet, it will essentially act as one by paying double interest until December 31, 2009 to cover any taxes that may be owing on the interest earned in this account.

How 2010 TFSA Kick Start Account works:

On December 31, 2009, clients will receive a bonus equal to the interest their account earns between October 1 and December 31, 2009. (Current rate is 1.05%*) That should more than cover the income taxes a client may have to pay during this period for this account. The maximum contribution amount for this 2010 TFSA Kick Start Account is $5,000.

Then on January 1, 2010, the money in a client's 2010 TFSA Kick Start Account will be transferred to an official Tax-Free Investment Savings Account where it will grow tax-free.

For more information on the Kick Start Tax-Free Savings program, visit hugthetaxman.ca.

About Angus Reid Strategies' online survey methodology

From September 23, 2009 to September 24, 2009, Angus Reid Strategies conducted an online survey among 997 randomly selected Canadian adults 18+ and are Angus Reid Forum panelists. The results have been statistically weighted according to the most current education, age, gender and region Census data to ensure a sample representative of the entire population of adults 18+ years of age in Canada. Discrepancies in or between totals are due to rounding.

About ING DIRECT

ING DIRECT is Canada's leading direct bank with over 1.6 million Clients and more than $27 billion in total assets. ING DIRECT gives the power of saving to all Canadians by offering high-value, simple products such as high interest savings accounts with no fees or service charges and low rates on mortgages. Low cost, index-based mutual funds are sold through ING DIRECT Funds Limited. ING DIRECT Canada has been operating since 1997, and has paid more than $4 billion in interest to Clients. ING DIRECT is open for banking 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, at www.ingdirect.ca or by calling 1-800 ING DIRECT (1-800-464-3473).

Style note to Editors: ING DIRECT is always capitalized and never referred to as ING.

    
    * Current rate as of October 13, 2009, and, just like the weather, is
        subject to change.
    

SOURCE Tangerine

For further information: For further information: Media Relations, Joanne Ingrassia, (cell) (416) 903-0101, jingrassia@ingdirect.ca


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