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Registered retirement savings plan contributions, 2013

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Released: 2015-02-13

Contributions to registered retirement savings plans (RRSPs) totalled $37.4 billion in 2013, up 4.8% from 2012. Data are based on tax returns filed for 2013.

Just under 6 million taxfilers contributed to an RRSP in 2013, virtually unchanged from 2012. The percentage of taxfilers who contributed to an RRSP edged down from 23.7% in 2012 to 23.4% in 2013.

Regionally, the highest percentage increases in the number of contributors to RRSPs occurred in Alberta (+2.7%), Newfoundland and Labrador (+2.0%) and Yukon (+1.2%).

Total contributions increased in every province and territory, led by Newfoundland and Labrador (+11.4%), New Brunswick (+11.3%) and Alberta (+8.2%).

Nationally, the median contribution was $3,000, up 2.4% from 2012. In other words, half of the taxfilers reporting RRSP contributions reported more than $3,000 and the other half reported less than $3,000.

Nunavut had the lowest percentage of taxfilers who contributed to an RRSP (11.4%), but those taxfilers who did contribute made the highest median contribution to RRSPs ($4,740). Alberta had the second highest median contribution to RRSPs ($3,600), followed by Yukon ($3,590) and the Northwest Territories ($3,300). Manitoba had the lowest median contribution at $2,360.

Among census metropolitan areas (CMAs), Calgary had the highest median RRSP contribution ($4,200), followed by Vancouver ($3,600) and Toronto ($3,550). Historically, these three CMAs have had the highest median RRSP contributions. The lowest median RRSP contributions were in Winnipeg ($2,330), followed closely by Kingston, Peterborough, St. Catharines–Niagara, Brantford and Barrie (each with $2,400).

To be eligible to contribute to an RRSP, a taxfiler must have unused room from earlier years or new room as a result of qualifying income from the previous year (generally employment income). The RRSP limit is based on 18% of the previous tax year's earned income, to a fixed maximum, less any pension adjustments, plus any unused room carried forward. The fixed maximum RRSP contribution in 2013 was $23,820, up from $22,970 in 2012.

  Note to readers

All data in this release have been tabulated according to the 2011 Standard Geographical Classification used for the 2011 Census.

A census metropolitan area (CMA) is formed by one or more adjacent municipalities centred on a population centre (also known as the core). A CMA must have a total population of at least 100,000, of which 50,000 or more must live in the core.

The 2013 data on RRSP Contributors (Catalogue number17C0006, various prices), RRSP Contribution Limits (Catalogue number17C0011, various prices) and Canadian Taxfilers (Catalogue number17C0010, various prices) are now available for Canada, the provinces and territories, the federal electoral districts, the economic regions, the census divisions, the census metropolitan areas, the census agglomerations, the census tracts and the postal-based geographies. These custom services are available upon request.

CANSIM tables for this release are available for Canada, the provinces and territories, the census metropolitan areas and the census agglomerations.

Contact information

For more information, or to enquire about the concepts, methods or data quality of this release, contact us (toll-free 1-800-263-1136; 514-283-8300; or Media Relations (613-951-4636;

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