Slight gain in RRSP contributions

Statistics Canada survey shows largest increase in Saskatchewan

Just under 6.3 million Canadian taxfilers contributed to registered retirement savings plans (RRSPs) in 2007, up 1.6 per cent from 2006. But their contributions rose by 5.3 per cent to $34.1 billion, according to Statistics Canada.

Among the provinces, the highest percentage increase in the number of contributors occurred in Newfoundland and Labrador (5.3 per cent) and Saskatchewan (4.5 per cent). However, in absolute numbers Quebec had the largest gain with almost 25,700 people. And the largest increase in actual contributions occurred in Saskatchewan (12.8 per cent).

Almost 88 per cent of tax filers were eligible to contribute to an RRSP for the 2007 tax year, the same proportion as in 2006. Of this group, about one-third (31 per cent) actually made contributions, unchanged from 2006.

The $34.1 billion in RRSP contributions in 2007 represented about six per cent of the total room available to eligible taxfilers, down from seven per cent in 2006. (To be eligible to contribute to an RRSP, a person must have either new room as a result of qualifying income from the previous year or unused room from earlier years.)

Nationally, the median contribution was $2,780. The median was highest in the three territories, with Nunavut leading the way at $4,330 followed by the Northwest Territories at $3,600. Among census metropolitan areas, Calgary contributors had the highest median at $3,770, followed by those in Vancouver at $3,470 and Toronto at $3,300. The same three metropolitan areas have historically occupied the top three positions, said Statistics Canada.

The lowest media contributions were in the Maritimes, with Prince Edward Island at $2,150, New Brunswick $2,160 and Nova Scotia at $2,200.

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