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Thirty per cent of taxpayers contributed to a TFSA in 2015

By James Langton |

 

TFSAs have taken over from RRSPs as the most popular retirement savings vehicle with Canadians, according to data released Friday from federal financial regulators.

The Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions (OSFI) reports that 7.9 million taxpayers contributed to a TFSA in 2015, representing 30% of taxpayers, up from 4.5 million in 2009. Meanwhile, just 23% of taxpayers, 6.0 million, contributed to an RRSP in 2015.

RRSP usage held steady for taxpayers over age 55 between 2005 and 2015, the data show, whereas  usage for all younger age groups declined. By income category, RRSP usage only increased for those earning between $60,000 and $80,000. In every other category, it declined. Even for those earning over $80,000, the proportion making an RRSP contributed dropped from 71% in 2005 to 59% in 2015.

By contrast, TFSA usage increased for all age groups and all income categories between 2009 and 2015.

The proportion of workers that are covered by a registered pension plan (RPP) declined slightly from 39% in 2005 to 38% in 2015, OSFI reports. RPP coverage in the public sector increased from 84% in 2005 to 87% in 2015, while coverage in the private sector decreased from 26% in 2005 to 24% in 2015.

Additionally, the data show that the proportion of active plan members in defined benefit (DB) plans declined from 81% to 67% over the last 10 years. DB coverage in the public sector rose, as it plunged from 70% to 42% in the private sector since 2005.

Read: Audits on large TFSAs ramped up

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