RRSP piggybank

The number of Canadians who made RRSP contributions in the 2019 tax year dropped from the previous year, but the amount they contributed rose, according to new data from Statistics Canada.

The national statistical agency reported that the number of taxpayers who contributed to an RRSP dropped by 1.5% to just over 5.9 million in 2019. Despite that drop, the total amount contributed rose by 1.8% to $44.3 billion, and the median contribution rose by 4.2% to $3,260.

The report noted that the contribution data for 2019 could be impacted by the tax filing extension provided by the federal government due to the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic, which reduced the share of taxpayers included in this data.

StatsCan also reported that over half (53.8%) of higher-income taxpayers (earning over $80,000 per year) contributed to an RRSP in 2019.

“This may reflect a greater opportunity for high earners to save, but it also stems from the tax incentives built into the RRSP,” the report noted.

By age, taxpayers between 45 and 54 years old were the most likely to contribute to RRSPs, with 36.3% making a contribution in 2019.

By comparison, 32.6% of taxpayers in the 35-to-44 age group, 30.7% of the 55-to-64 age group, and 23.0% of the 25-to-34 age group contributed to RRSPs.