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Many Canadians waiting until 11th hour to make RRSP contribution: poll

VANCOUVER (NEWS1130) – You’re running out of time to contribute to your RRSP and a lot of banks are staying open this weekend to help you meet Monday’s deadline.

A new poll from CIBC shows many Canadians haven’t ponied up any money yet and they don’t know why.

“We asked Canadians why. ‘Why do you leave it until the 11th hour when you know saving for retirement is so important?’ The number one answer was, ‘I don’t know.’ It’s one of those things that whether it’s making the time to either sit down and have a conversation with an adviser, go online and make the contribution, or whether it’s wanting to hang on to the money. Maybe it’s money you’re taking out of your day-to-day funds and putting into your RRSP. But what you have to think about is, this is money that’s important to save for the future and you’re getting the potential of another tax benefit by putting those funds in before the deadline and using them on your 2014 return,” says Geoff Dillon, vice-president of retail banking for CIBC.

He compares this crunch time to procrastination over Christmas shopping.

“It’s a few things. I think there are more choices, so there’s an RRSP, but now there’s a TFSA — which some people are starting to utilize more for retirement. And there’s also, ‘should I pay off my debt instead of investing in retirement?'”

He is reminding you that when you put money in an RRSP, you have the ability to move it around later.

“It’s almost as if as the deadline gets closer we’re hoping that the decision gets easier, but it won’t. It’s better to sit down early with someone and have that conversation. And if you’re stuck with this at the last minute, you don’t have to make any big investment decisions right now. You can put the money in a guaranteed fund in an RRSP so you’ll get the tax receipt and you can decide how to invest it later. That’s the beauty of an RRSP. Once it’s in an RRSP, you can move it around, so you have some flexbility. Don’t worry about having to make heavy decisions this weekend or at the last minute, you’ll have time for that after the weekend,” he adds.