A new study by H&R Block has found only 17 per cent of Canadians have contributed or intend to contribute to a Registered Retirement Savings Plan (RRSP) before the March 1 deadline – a one per cent decline since last year’s survey.

Awareness has improved

The survey also revealed 65 per cent of Canadians know the difference between a Tax-Free Savings Account (TFSA) and an RRSP and the impacts of each on tax returns. This is an increase from last year’s 50 per cent, according to the study’s results announced Feb. 13.

Canadian incomes have stagnated due to slow economic growth. When adjusted according to inflation, salaries have seen zero growth, which makes it harder for Canadians to invest in an RRSP or TFSA account, observed H&R Block.

Saving now for the future

"I'm happy to see the level of understanding for RRSPs and TFSAs has increased but the number of Canadians who are contributing to one or both is still very low," said tax expert from H&R Block Canada Lisa Gittens. "If possible, Canadians should really try and take advantage of TFSAs and RRSPs each year to help them achieve their financial goals and, in the case of RRSP contributions, help maximize their refunds. It is a matter of saving now and for the future."