More than two-thirds of Canadians will be contributing the same amount or more to their RRSP this year versus last, despite a challenging market environment in 2011, suggests a poll released Thursday by BMO Finacial Group.

Last year, Canadians contributed an average of $4,700 to their RRSPs.

The survey, conducted by Leger Marketing, also found that 71% of Canadians are concerned about the performance of their RRSP, given the current state of the economy and volatility of the financial markets.

More than one-third of respondents (36%) are not confident in their ability to save for retirement, compared to half that amount last year (18%).

Forty-two per cent of respondents are less optimistic about the financial markets this year compared to last year; this sentiment has doubled since last year (21%).

“The volatility we have experienced in the financial markets over the past year has increased concern among Canadians about their ability to save for retirement,” says Caroline Dabu, vice president, retirement and financial planning, BMO Financial Group.

More than one-third (37%) of respondents have made or are planning on making a contribution to their and/or their spouse’s RRSP before the Feb. 29, 2012 deadline

Of those who are not making a contribution this year, or are contributing less than last year, 38% said they have other expenses, while 20% said they do not have enough money to match or exceed last year’s contribution

Overall, 61% of Canadians have an RRSP; however many younger Canadians (aged 18-34) have not opened an RRSP yet, with 62% stating that they do not have one in place

The online survey was conducted by Leger Marketing from November 21 to 24, 2011, with a sample of 1,520 Canadians, 18 years of age or older.