/R E P E A T -- BMO Survey: Only 38 per cent of Canadians Contributed This
RRSP Season/

    -   Almost two-thirds say they didn't have enough money to make a
    -   BMO provides retirement savings advice for cash-strapped Canadians

TORONTO, March 3 /CNW/ - According to a BMO commissioned Leger survey, only 38 per cent of Canadians contributed to a Registered Retirement Savings Plan (RRSP) before the March 1, 2010 deadline.

An overwhelming 56 per cent of respondents did not make a contribution (a further six per cent preferred not to answer). Cash flow issues came out on top as the primary reason for missing the RRSP contribution deadline, with more than six out of ten (64 per cent) Canadians citing a lack of available funds as the main reason.

Serge Pépin, Director, BMO Investments, advises Canadians to put investing for retirement at the top of their priority list, even when circumstances arise that make saving more difficult.

"Saving for retirement and working towards achieving long-term financial goals should always be a priority for Canadians," counsels Pépin. "There will be times when money becomes harder to come by, but your retirement savings should not be the first area to suffer. When money is tight, Canadians simply need to find ways to get creative with their cash flow in order to continue saving for their future. Over the long-term, every dollar counts."

To avoid missing future RRSP deadlines, BMO Financial Group offers the following day-to-day saving tips Canadians should consider:

    -   Out of sight; out of mind - Setting up automatic bi-weekly payments
        from your banking account to your RRSP can be an easy way to generate
        savings. And, by keeping the payments reasonably small, you likely
        will not even notice the difference.
    -   Skip the latte - Filling up your cup at the office instead of buying
        from the local coffee shop can result in an extra $80 a month -
        savings that can go directly towards your retirement.
    -   Brown bag it - Bringing a lunch from home every day can save upwards
        of $100 per month and make a huge impact on your monthly savings.
    -   Cancel costly memberships - Cancelling memberships you are not taking
        advantage of, such as a fitness or golf club membership, can clear up
        space in your expense column and add to your nest egg.
    -   Mortgage free? - If you have finished paying off your mortgage, put
        the monthly payments towards an RRSP.
    -   One person's trash... - Clean out your closet, basement and garage.
        Get online and sell those sweaters, that lawnmower and your old golf
        clubs. Take the money and open up an RRSP.

About The Survey

The survey was conducted using an online survey by Leger Marketing with a total sample of 1,516 adult Canadians, between February 22nd and 25th, 2010. Using a national random sample of 1,516 respondents, this method simulates a probability sample, which would yield a maximum margin of error of +\-2.5%, 19 times out of 20.


For further information: For further information: or to arrange for an interview, please contact: Kasia Lech, Toronto, kasia.lech@bmo.com, (416) 867-3996; Sarah Bensadoun, Montreal, sarah.bensadoun@bmo.com, (514) 877-1101

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