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____ Monday February 29, 2016 ____



Registered retirement savings plan contributions for 2014

Ottawa - Contributions to registered retirement savings plans (RRSPs) totalled $38.6 billion in 2014, up 3.2% from 2013. Data are based on tax returns filed for 2014.

Total contributions increased in almost all provinces and territories, led by Northwest Territories (+6.3%), Newfoundland and Labrador (+5.8%), Prince Edward Island (+5.4%) and Alberta (+5.4%). New Brunswick (-1.2%) recorded the only decrease.

Just under 6 million taxfilers contributed to an RRSP in 2014. This number has been virtually unchanged since 2009. The peak over the last decade occurred in 2007, when just under 6.3 million individuals contributed to an RRSP.

Regionally, Nunavut (+3.3%), Newfoundland and Labrador (+3.1%) and Alberta (+2.7%) reported the highest percentage increases in the number of contributors to RRSPs. The largest decreases were in New Brunswick (-1.0%) and Quebec (-0.9%).

The percentage of taxfilers who contributed to an RRSP edged down from 23.4% in 2013 to 23.0% in 2014. This followed a decrease from 23.7% in 2012 to 23.4% in 2013.

Nationally, the median contribution in 2014 was $3,000, unchanged from 2013. In other words, half of the taxfilers reporting RRSP contributions reported more than $3,000 and the other half reported less than $3,000.

Nunavut recorded the lowest percentage of taxfilers who contributed to an RRSP, at 11.4%, but those taxfilers who did contribute reported the highest median contribution ($4,500). Alberta ($3,600) had the second highest median RRSP contributions, followed by Yukon ($3,500) and the Northwest Territories ($3,450). Manitoba reported the lowest median contribution, at $2,400.

Among census metropolitan areas (CMAs), Calgary ($4,300) recorded the highest median RRSP contribution, followed by Vancouver ($3,700) and Toronto ($3,610). Historically, these three CMAs have had the highest median RRSP contributions. The lowest median RRSP contributions were in Winnipeg ($2,380), followed closely by Kingston, Peterborough and Barrie (each with $2,400).

To be eligible to contribute to an RRSP, a taxfiler must have unused room from earlier years or new room as a result of qualifying income from the previous year (generally employment income). The RRSP limit is based on 18% of the previous tax year's earned income up to a fixed maximum, less any pension adjustments and plus any unused room carried forward. The fixed maximum RRSP contribution in 2014 was $24,270, up from $23,820 in 2013.

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