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Registered retirement savings plan contributions, 2021

Released: 2023-03-17

In 2021, more tax filers contributed to their Registered retirement savings plan (RRSP) than in 2020, with 22.4% (+0.1 percentage point) of all tax filers contributing. Their total RRSP contributions reached $56.1 billion (+12.2%), while their median RRSP contribution increased by 8.1% to an all-time-high of $3,890.

  Note to readers

Data in this release are based on a preliminary version of the T1 Family File (tax filer data).

Statistics on changes in amounts between years do not take inflation into account, which was 3.4% in 2021.

Registered retirement savings plans (RRSPs) allow individuals or their spouses to make tax-deductible contributions to individual savings and investment accounts. To be eligible to contribute to an RRSP, a tax filer must have unused room from earlier years, or new room as a result of qualifying income from the previous year (generally employment income).

Each taxpayer's RRSP limit is based on 18% of the earned income of the previous tax year up to a fixed maximum, less any pension adjustments, plus any unused room carried forward. The fixed maximum in 2021 was $27,830, up from $27,230 in 2020. Income earned in the account accumulates tax-free, but withdrawals, which can take place at any time, are taxed.

Unused contribution room can be carried forward and contributions can be made until age 71. At that point, the RRSP is closed, and an individual chooses either to pay taxes on the full value of the RRSP holdings or to convert the holdings into a registered retirement income fund. This type of savings account allows individuals to defer part of their income over time, subject to minimum withdrawal limits.

The median is the value in the middle of a group of values (i.e., half of people make contributions above this value and half of people make contributions below this value).


The document "Technical Reference Guide for the Preliminary Estimates from the T1 Family File (T1FF)" (11260001) presents information about the methodology, concepts and quality of the data available in this release.

The Income, pensions, spending and wealth portal, which is accessible from the Subjects module of the Statistics Canada website, provides users with a single point of access to a wide variety of information related to income, pensions, spending and wealth.

The data on Registered retirement savings plan contributors (Catalogue number17C0006, various prices) are now available for Canada, the provinces and territories, economic regions, census divisions, census subdivisions, census metropolitan areas, census agglomerations, census tracts and postal-based geographies. These custom services are available upon request. Table 11-10-0044-01 associated with this release is available for free on the Statistics Canada website for Canada, the provinces and territories, census metropolitan areas and 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 Relation (

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