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Registered retirement savings plan contributions

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The Daily

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Just under 6.3 million taxfilers contributed to registered retirement savings plans (RRSP) in 2007, up 1.6% from 2006. Their contributions rose by 5.3% to $34.1 billion. These data are based on tax returns filed for 2007.

Among the provinces, the highest percentage increase in the number of contributors occurred in Newfoundland and Labrador (+5.3%). However, in absolute numbers Quebec had the largest gain with almost 25,700 persons.

The largest increase in contributions occurred in Saskatchewan (+12.8%).

To be eligible to contribute to an RRSP, a taxfiler must have either new room as a result of qualifying income from the previous year (generally employment income), or unused room from earlier years. The limit is based on 18% of the previous tax year's earned income, to a fixed maximum, less any pension adjustment, plus any unused room carried forward. The fixed maximum in 2007 was $19,000, up from $18,000 in 2006.

Almost 88% of taxfilers were eligible to contribute to an RRSP for the 2007 tax year, the same proportion as in 2006. Of this group of eligible taxfilers, 31% actually made contributions, unchanged from 2006.

The $34.1 billion in RRSP contributions in 2007 represented about 6.0% of the total room available to eligible taxfilers, down from 7.0% in 2006.

Nationally, the median contribution was $2,780. The median is the point where half of the contributors contributed more than $2,780 and half less. The median was highest in the three territories, with Nunavut leading the way at $4,330 followed by the Northwest Territories at $3,600.

Among census metropolitan areas, Calgary contributors had the highest median ($3,770), followed by those in Vancouver at $3,470 and Toronto at $3,300. The same three metropolitan areas have historically occupied the top three positions.

Available on CANSIM: tables 111-0039 to 111-0041.

Definitions, data sources and methods: survey number 4106.

The databanks RRSP Contributors (17C0006, various prices), RRSP Contribution Limits (17C0011, various prices) and Canadian Taxfilers (17C0010, various prices) are available for Canada, the provinces and territories, cities, towns, census metropolitan areas, census divisions, federal electoral districts, and areas as small as forward sortation areas (the first three characters of the postal code), and letter carrier routes.

For more information, or to enquire about the concepts, methods or data quality of this release, contact Client Services (toll-free 1-866-652-8443; 613-951-9720; fax: 1-866-652-8444; 613-951-4745;, Small Area and Administrative Data Division.

Tables. Table(s).