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January 2003     Vol. 4, no. 1

Profiling RRSP contributors

Boris Palameta

  • People most likely to be RRSP contributors include those with investments outside registered plans and those with contributing spouses.
  • When other factors are held constant, younger people are more likely to contribute than older people, and self-employed people are more likely to contribute than their employed counterparts.
  • Among employees, those with pensions are more likely to contribute at low incomes, but the trend is reversed at high incomes.
  • High personal income is an important predictor of participation, but having a higher-income spouse with RRSP room may reduce a person's likelihood of contributing.
  • Women are more likely contributors than men, except when both spouses have RRSP room. However, the presence of children affects women's likelihood of contributing more than men's. Children in general are associated with a decreased likelihood of contribution, but having children 18 and over in the home may increase it.
  • With everything else being equal, people in legal marriages are usually more likely to contribute than people in common-law relationships-the sole exception being women whose partners have RRSP room.


Boris Palameta is with Income Statistics Division. He can be reached at (613) 951-2124 or

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