RRSP contributions increase

Canadians contributed a total of $35.7 billion to RRSPs in 2012, a 3.8% increase from 2011, according to Statistics Canada.

The numbers are based on tax returns filed for 2012.

Just under six million tax filers contributed to an RRSP in 2012, virtually unchanged from 2011. The percentage of tax filers who contributed to an RRSP edged down to 23.7% in 2012 from 24.0% in 2011. This percentage decline was mainly the result of an increase in the number of tax filers.

Regionally, the highest percentage increases in the number of contributors to RRSPs occurred in Yukon (+3.3%), Alberta (+2.9%) and Nunavut (+2.8%).

Total contributions increased in most provinces and territories, led by Quebec (+7.7%) and Alberta (+7.0%). The Northwest Territories (-5.1%), Prince Edward Island (-2.3%), New Brunswick (-1.1%) and Nova Scotia (-0.2%) all reported declines.

Nationally, the median contribution was $2,930, a 3.5% increase from 2011. The median is the point at which half of the contributors contributed more than $2,930 and half less.

The median contribution to RRSPs was highest in Nunavut ($4,200), followed by Yukon ($3,500), Alberta ($3,480) and the Northwest Territories ($3,430). Manitoba had the lowest median contribution at $2,350.

Among census metropolitan areas, the highest median RRSP contribution was in Calgary ($4,000), followed by those in Vancouver ($3,500) and Toronto ($3,480). Historically, these three areas have had the highest median RRSP contributions. Contributors in Barrie, Ont., ($2,300) had the lowest median RRSP contribution.

The fixed maximum RRSP contribution in 2012 was $22,970, up from $22,450 in 2011.

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