Almost half (44 per cent) of Canadians agreed the coronavirus pandemic has negatively impacted their ability to save for retirement and, as a result, 31 per cent have changed their financial priorities, according to a new survey by Edward D. Jones & Co.

The survey, which polled more than 1,500 adult Canadians, also found 33 per cent of respondents said they’re planning to contribute to their registered retirement savings plan, while 52 per cent said they plan to forego their RRSP contribution and another 15 per cent are undecided.

Read: Survey finds 29% of Canadians are concerned about inflation’s impact on retirement savings

Among those not contributing to their RRSP this year, 55 per cent said it was because they couldn’t afford to — an increase of 11 per cent increase over last year. Notably, the number of Canadians planning to contribute the maximum amount in a RRSP remained unchanged at 10 per cent.

Meanwhile, 45 per cent said instead of contributing to a RRSP they’re opting to contribute to other investment accounts and opportunities, such as a tax-free savings account (49 per cent), non-registered investment account (17 per cent) or buying real estate (eight per cent). One quarter (25 per cent) of respondents said they consider debt repayment a key financial priority, while a little more than that (29 per cent) noted they can’t afford to invest their money at all.

“We are experiencing high inflation, economic volatility and uncertainty around the pandemic, all of which impact the unique financial situation of Canadians,” said David Gunn, president of Edward Jones Canada, in a press release.

Read: Canadians reducing retirement savings due to coronavirus