Are you an RRSP procrastinator? Poll says you're not alone as deadline looms

TORONTO – A new poll suggests half of the Canadians who say they still have to make an RRSP contribution before March 1 will wait until the last 48 hours.

The Harris/Decima telephone poll conducted on behalf of CIBC found that as of Feb. 18, nearly one-third of eligible respondents said they still had to make a contribution. The number is up from one quarter of respondents at the same time last year.

And of that 32 per cent, slightly more than half of them said they’d hold off making those contributions until the final two days before the March 1 deadline for the 2012 tax year.

CIBC says while people are busy, there’s still time to sit down with an advisor and get your contributions in before the deadline.

The study also found that of the 32 per cent who said they still had to make a contribution, 13 per cent of those people hadn’t contributed to a RRSP at all for the 2012 tax year.

The poll also suggests that younger Canadians are more likely to procrastinate. Some 40 per cent of respondents between the ages of 25 and 44 said they still needed to make a contribution.

The Harris/Decima telephone omnibus survey was conducted between Feb. 14 and 17 with a sample size of 855 RRSP eligible Canadians. It is considered accurate within 3.4 percentage points, 19 times out of 20.

The poll is among a flurry of such surveys done by financial organizations in February as they look to encourage Canadians to buy their investment products.

RRSP contributions give the immediate benefit of a tax deduction and the money can be invested in mutual funds, stocks, bonds and GICs.

Your RRSP contribution limit is 18 per cent of your earned income from the previous year to a maximum of $22,970 for 2012, though that amount will be lower if you have a company pension plan or a deferred profit sharing plan.