RRSP piggybank

Despite another year of economic volatility, Canadians are prioritizing their future financial security, according to a survey from Edward Jones.

An poll commissioned by the firm released on Monday found that the majority of Canadians (51%) plan to contribute to their RRSPs this year, up from just 33% in 2022. The percentage of those who can’t afford to contribute has also plummeted, to 16% from 29% year-over-year.

According to the survey, those aged 18-54 drove the increase.

Of those contributing, 23% said they plan to use the maximum amount.

“Intentions to contribute are at their highest level since the start of the pandemic,” said Julie Petrera, senior strategies, client needs at Edward Jones.

A separate survey from TD Bank Group showed that volatile markets are interfering with Canadians’ saving habits. More than half of respondents (56%) said they’re focused on getting through the next year rather than on their future financial security.

As the RRSP deadline approaches, 59% said they didn’t contribute to any investments last year, and 62% said the market is too risky for them to invest right now.

Canadians’ relationship with money remains tense, the Edward Jones survey found. Only one-third of respondents (33%) said they’re happy with their financial situation, while half (50%) said they are nervous and 14% said they are fearful.

Over half of respondents (51%) said the cost of living is their most significant barrier to saving for retirement, followed by income (19%) and debts (14%).

The survey also found that contributing to an RRSP alone isn’t cutting it. Only 19% of respondents believe an RRSP on its own will meet their needs, with 12% saying they prefer other investment options altogether.

Almost half of respondents (43%) believe in a combination of an RRSP and other investment options, such as a TFSA, real estate or non-registered investment accounts to meet their needs.

Redfern Research conducted the online survey of 1,666 Canadians aged 18 and older between Jan. 27 and 29 for Edward Jones. Online surveys can’t be assigned a margin of error because they don’t randomly sample the population.

Correction: A previous version of this article misstated the percentage of Canadians who contributed to RRSPs in 2022.