REPEAT: One-in-Four Working Canadians Expect to Receive

REPEAT: One-in-Four Working Canadians Expect to Receive Year-End
Bonus-BMO Survey 
Savings, paying down household debt and holiday gifts top uses for
year-end bonuses 
- Twenty-six per cent of working Canadians expect to receive a
year-end bonus  
- Eighty-six per cent of those who anticipate receiving a bonus
believe it will be the same or more than last year  
- Half of Canadians who expect to receive a year-end bonus will use
it to save/invest or pay down household debt 
TORONTO, ONTARIO -- (Marketwire) -- 12/03/12 -- Despite a challenging
economic environment, one-in-four Canadians in the workforce expect
to receive a year-end bonus, according to a new BMO holiday survey.
For Canadians who are eligible at their workplace to receive a bonus,
44 per cent expect to get one, up significantly from 29 per cent last
"This year, businesses owners have shown a remarkable resiliency and
moved forward with plans to invest and grow their business," said
Steve Murphy, Senior Vice President, BMO Commercial Banking. "In this
economic environment, many Canadian business owners are looking to
strike the right balance between rewarding the contributions of their
employees with the need to maintain efficient business operations.
One thing we know, from talking with entrepreneurs, is the importance
they place on their employees and the role they play in their
companies' success." 

Receive Year-end Bonus?                                                     
                              National   ATL    QC    ON  MB/SK    AB    BC 
Likely                              26%   25%   23%   32%    22%   29%   17%
Not Very Likely                     16%   26%   15%   15%    21%   15%   13%
Not at All Likely                   17%   16%   12%   17%    22%   20%   26%

Of those who believe that they are likely to receive year-end
compensation, 60 per cent anticipate it will be the same as last
year, 26 per cent believe it will be more, and only 14 per cent think
it will likely be less than last year.  

Size of Bonus - Compared to 2011                           
           National   ATL    QC    ON  MB/SK     AB     BC 
Same             60%   51%   60%   65%    47%    69%    37%
More             26%   28%   22%   22%    38%    28%    48%
Less             14%   21%   19%   13%    15%     3%    15%

The BMO Survey, conducted by Pollara, also asked working Canadians
who are eligible to receive a holiday bonus this year what they would
do with the money. One quarter (26 per cent) indicated that they
would save or invest the money; 25 per cent would use the money to
pay down household debt, including a mortgage, credit cards, auto
loan, or personal line of credit; 20 per cent said they would use it
to pay for holiday spending. Other popular choices included rewarding
themselves with a new consumer purchase (9 per cent) or taking a
vacation (9 per cent). 

Uses for Holiday Bonuses                                                    
                              National   ATL    QC    ON  MB/SK    AB    BC 
Save or Invest it                   26%   23%   18%   27%    41%   28%   29%
Pay down household debt             25%   25%   20%   28%    18%   24%   30%
Pay for Holiday spending            20%   18%   32%   18%    23%   12%    8%
Reward yourself with a new                                                  
 consumer purchase                   9%   10%    6%    6%     6%   16%   27%
Take a vacation                      9%    3%   16%    5%     8%   13%    7%

For Canadians looking to pay down debt heading into 2013, BMO offers
the following tips: 
Don't overspend - Develop a budget that establishes how household
expenses will be paid and how spending will be managed. Take
advantage of free online tools, such as BMO MoneyLogic(TM), to help
stay on top of everyday household spending and saving.  
Curb credit card debt - Pay down credit cards - beginning with those
that carry the highest rate - and consider using a low rate card for
purchases. For instance, the BMO Preferred Rate MasterCard offers a
low rate of 11.9 per cent for an annual fee of $20 per year. 
Invest to save - Set up a Tax Free Savings Account (TFSA) or high
interest savings account to set aside extra cash in case of an
emergency. Also consider using Exchange Traded Funds to reduce
management expense fees.  
Become mortgage free faster - Choosing a lower amortization and
increasing monthly payments on mortgages can help you pay off your
mortgage faster while saving you thousands of dollars in interest
Have a Back-up Plan - Develop a fall-back plan in case you are unable
to meet your financial obligations as a result of unexpected
circumstances, such as loss of work or damage to personal property -
such as your home or vehicle. The general rule of thumb is to have an
emergency fund set aside that is equal to three to six months of your
income in a high-interest savings account, such as the BMO Smart
Saver Account.  
BMO's Commercial Banking Holiday Survey was conducted by Pollara
Strategic Insights. The survey results cited in this release are from
online interviews with a random sample of 1,000 Canadians 18 years of
age and older, carried out between November 23rd and November 27th,
2012. A probability sample of this size would yield results accurate
to +/- 3.1 per cent, 19 times out of 20. 
About BMO Financial Group  
Established in 1817 as Bank of Montreal, BMO Financial Group is a
highly diversified North American financial services organization.
With total assets of $542 billion as at July 31, 2012, and more than
46,000 employees, BMO Financial Group provides a broad range of
retail banking, wealth management and investment banking products and
Media Contacts:
Paul Cunliffe, Toronto
(416) 867-3996 
Valerie Doucet, Montreal
(514) 877-8224 
Laurie Grant, Vancouver
(604) 665-7596 
Twitter: @BMOmedia
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