Snapshot: Canadian mindset on RSPs

One-third of Canadians report having dipped into their RSPs

TORONTO, Nov. 19, 2012 /CNW/ - A recent Scotiabank poll found that more Canadians are willing to take money from their RSP to pay off other expenses than in past years. However, the top reason cited for withdrawing the money from an RSP was to buy a first home (40 per cent). That said, taking money out of RSPs has been on the rise, with one-third of RSP holders (36 per cent) reporting taking money out of their RSP this year, up from 23 per cent back in 2005. Additional findings on Canadian habits pertaining to their RSPs include:

  • In 2012, the average amount Canadians withdrew from their RSP was $24,531. In 2005, the average amount Canadians withdrew from their RSP was $10,716.
  • Fourteen per cent of Canadians took money out of their RSPs to cover day-to-day living expenses, and six per cent took money out to pay for a vacation.
  • Canadians aged 55+ (41 per cent) are more likely than 18-34 year olds (32 per cent) and 45-54 year olds (30 per cent) to have taken money out of their RSPs.

"Investing in a home and investing in retirement are both important parts of life and finding a way to balance both is key," said Bev Moir, ScotiaMcLeod Wealth Advisor. "If Canadians are going to take money out of their RSP for a major purchase like a house, they need to have a plan in place to return that money as soon as they can so they don't limit their options in the future. A financial advisor can work with you to map out the best strategy to achieve your goals, particularly if you're dipping into your RSP for day-to-day expenses. And with November being Financial Literacy Month, now is a great opportunity to also speak with your advisor about the information and resources available to take a fresh look at your financial plan."

For more information and tips about Scotiabank's RSP offers and advice for successful RSP strategies, please visit a financial advisor near you or

About the polling data
The Scotiabank Mega Poll was conducted through Harris/Decima's telephone omnibus, teleVox from June 18 through 28, 2012.  A total of 2,013 surveys were conducted nationally with Canadian respondents 18 plus years of age.

About Scotiabank
Scotiabank is one of North America's premier financial institutions and Canada's most international bank. With more than 81,000 employees, Scotiabank and its affiliates serve some 19 million customers in more than 55 countries around the world. Scotiabank offers a broad range of products and services including personal, commercial, corporate and investment banking. With assets of $670 billion (as at July 31, 2012), Scotiabank trades on the Toronto (BNS) and New York Exchanges (BNS). For more information please visit

Did you know? November is Financial Literacy Month, to learn about Scotiabank's Financial Literacy Strategy please read the related press release on the Scotiabank Newsroom at

BACKGROUNDER: Canadian Mindset on RSPs

  • Male Canadians are more likely to have investments/savings in an RSP then female Canadians (56 per cent vs. 45 per cent).
  • Younger Canadians (18-34 years) most likely to not hold investments or savings either inside or outside an RSP (46 per cent)
  • When it comes to having withdrawn funds from an RSP, the following regional differences are observed: Atlantic Canadians (44 per cent) are more likely than Quebecers (26 per cent) and Albertans (31 per cent) to have done this. Furthermore, Ontarians (41 per cent) are more likely than Quebecers (26 per cent) to have taken money out of their RSP as are British Columbians (44 per cent).
  • After buying their first homes, the next most popular reasons people withdrew money from their RSP were paying down debt (16 per cent) and to convert the money into a Retirement Income Fund (15 per cent).
  • For Canadians taking money out of their RSP, those aged 18-34 are more likely than those aged 55+ to have taken out money in the $5,000-$14,999 range (45 per cent vs. 26 per cent respectively).
  • RSP holders are unlikely to consider an RSP loan or line of credit (88 per cent) to help with this year's contribution.
  • Canadians aged 55+ (7 per cent) are less likely than those between the ages of 18-34 years (18 per cent) and 45-54 years (15 per cent) to consider a loan to help with their RSP contribution this year.

SOURCE: Scotiabank

For further information:

Diana Hart
P: 416-866-7238

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