BMO Study: RRSP Deadline Causing Canadians Stress

BMO Study: RRSP Deadline Causing Canadians Stress 
- First RRSP study of the year finds 60 per cent of Canadians feel
anxious as they try to find money to contribute to their RRSPs  
- Almost half of Canadians who make an annual RRSP contribution do so
in one lump sum  
- Two-thirds of Canadians are open to setting up a continuous savings
plan that would allow them to make regular contributions throughout
the year  
- BMO offers Canadians a 15 per cent bonus on their first month's
contribution to a newly-opened mutual fund Continuous Savings Plan 
TORONTO, ONTARIO -- (Marketwire) -- 01/09/13 -- With the March 1st
deadline for contributing to a Registered Retirement Savings Plan
(RRSP) fast approaching, a BMO Financial Group study reveals that the
annual deadline causes many Canadians stress as they scramble to find
the money to make a contribution. However, the study shows that the
majority of Canadians say they would feel less stressed if they
switched their approach and made smaller contributions throughout the
year. 
According to the study, while three-quarters of Canadians with an
RRSP have already made or plan to make a contribution to their RRSP
before the deadline, 60 per cent admit that the deadline causes them
stress.  
This may be related to the fact that almost half (49 per cent) rely
on making a lump sum contribution to their RRSP at the end of each
year, rather than investing smaller amounts on a regular basis
throughout the year.  
The Advantages of a Continuous Savings Plan 
When asked further about their views on contributing to an RRSP, more
than half (54 per cent) of Canadians said they would feel less
stressed if they used a Continuous Savings Plan (CSP) to make smaller
regular RRSP contributions throughout the year.  
A CSP regularly and automatically withdraws a specific amount of
money from an individual's bank account and invests it directly into
his or her RRSP. A CSP eases the cost of investing away from one
annual deposit, and helps to increase savings. For example, mutual
funds fluctuate in value based on market conditions, so by investing
the same amount in a fund each month, an investor can buy more fund
units when the cost is lower. This can reduce the average price per
unit an investor pays over the long term. 
When infor
med about the benefits of a CSP, two-thirds of Canadians
said they would be more likely to use a CSP in the future.  
"Uneasiness around the RRSP deadline is understandable when Canadians
have other financial priorities to manage, including paying down
household debt," said Marlena Pospiech, Senior Manager, BMO Wealth
Planning Group, BMO Financial Group. "Yet, there are ways to manage
and eliminate that stress. For example, opening a Continuous Savings
Plan alleviates the worry about having to come up with a large
lump-sum RRSP contribution as the deadline looms." 
BMO offers the following tips to help Canadians take the stress out
of RRSP season: 
Take advantage of special offers: Look for any special offers
designed to incent you to open a CSP. For example, until March 1st,
2013, if you set up and maintain a new BMO mutual fund CSP for 12
months, you will receive a one-time 15 per cent bonus on your first
month's contribution (up to a maximum of $150).  
Invest "bonus" money: If you come into some money through a tax
refund, work bonus or inheritance, consider contributing this
unexpected income or sudden financial windfall directly into your
RRSP as an investment in your future. 
Take advantage of tax benefits: The money you contribute to an RRSP
is deductible from your total income (within certain limits). For
most people, contributing to an RRSP means paying less tax and can
potentially resul
t in a tax refund.  
Seek out help: Speak to a financial professional who can help you set
up a financial plan that includes a retirement component, including a
CSP, and review your investments regularly. They can also advise
whether it makes sense for you to take out an RRSP loan, such as
through a BMO RRSP Readiline Account line of credit.  
For more information on Continuous Savings Plans, please visit
www.bmo.com/csp. 
Get the latest BMO press releases via Twitter by following @BMOmedia. 
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,
conducted 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.
Contacts:
Media contacts:
Rachael McKay, Toronto
416-867-3996
Rachael.mckay@bmo.com 
Valerie Doucet, Montreal
514-877-8224
valerie.doucet@bmo.com 
Laurie Grant, Vancouver
604-665-7596
laurie.grant@bmo.com