Less Than Three Weeks and Counting: 2011 RRSP Window Closing Fast

Half of Canadians set to miss opportunity for 2011 tax season: Scotiabank Study

TORONTO, Feb. 9, 2012 /CNW/ - A recent Scotiabank investment poll found that only two in five Canadians (39 per cent) say they plan to contribute to an RRSP for the 2011 tax season. Among those who have thought about investing more often in their RRSP than they currently do, affordability (61 per cent) is the top reason for not contributing more often.

"We would like a chance to talk to the many Canadians who might be letting an important savings opportunity pass them by, and remind them that even small contributions can help them get back on track," said Mike Henry, Senior Vice President of Retail Payments, Deposits and Lending, Scotiabank. "We understand the challenges, and we know that a lot of people are making this decision without talking to an advisor. We want to help our customers review their finances to see if an RRSP contribution makes sense for them as part of a practical plan designed to balance their individual needs and circumstances. Looking beyond the 2011 RRSP deadline, we want to help Canadians put a plan in place to make regular investment contributions, either with a TFSA or RRSP."

In addition to cutting back on RRSP contributions this year, only 46 per cent of those polled reported having a financial advisor. When it comes to planning, 32 per cent of Canadians reported having a written financial plan and 39 per cent said it would be easier to save and invest with a five year goal in mind rather than a long-term goal. Three in five (58 per cent) said they would be interested in a five year plan.

"Concerns around the affordability of making investments paired with the rise in market volatility have made many Canadians reluctant to contribute to their RRSPs this year," said Andrew Pyle, ScotiaMcLeod Wealth Advisor. "Living in challenging financial times is all the more reason investors should speak to a financial advisor about their specific financial situation and how to find a way to build their retirement savings and make their 2011 RRSP contribution. For example, investors looking to minimize their exposure to market ups and downs may want to review the asset allocation in their RRSPs."

Other investment poll highlights:

  • Most Canadians say they have an RRSP (60 per cent), a drop from 79 per cent last year;
  • Forty-eight per cent of Canadians have a TFSA;
  • More men (42 per cent) than women (35 per cent) plan to contribute to their RRSP for the 2011 tax year, while those aged 35-54 years lead in the age category (52 per cent) compared to those aged 18-34 (41 per cent) and 55 and over (21 per cent);
  • Only three-in-10 (29 per cent) have set up automatic transfers or deposits into an investment plan (down from 34 per cent in 2010);
  • Among RRSP holders, half (51 per cent) have thought about contributing more to their RRSP than they do now, unchanged from a year ago.

While there's still work to be done, there's still time to make an RRSP contribution for 2011 and start planning for 2012. Booking a visit with a financial advisor is the first step in getting a financial plan in place.

In the days leading up to the February 29th deadline, select Scotiabank branches will be offering extended hours to ensure customers can make their RRSP contributions on time. Check with your local Scotiabank branch for further information.

The Scotiabank Investment Study was conducted online for the second consecutive year using Harris/Decima's online panel. A total of 1,021 completed surveys were collected from a random sample of panel members across Canada. The study was conducted from December 7th to December 21st, 2011.

About Scotiabank
Scotiabank is one of North America's premier financial institutions and Canada's most international bank. With more than 75,000 employees, Scotiabank Group 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 above $575 billion (as at October 31, 2011), Scotiabank trades on the Toronto (BNS) and New York Exchanges (BNS). For more information please visit www.scotiabank.com.

SOURCE Scotiabank - Products

For further information:

Patty Stathokostas, Scotiabank Media Communications, 416-866-3625, patty.stathokostas@scotiabank.com.


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