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RRSP investments

  • By Wendy Pyper


  • In 2005, 6 in 10 families held registered retirement saving plans, with a median value of $25,000. Among younger families, 56% held RRSPs, compared with 68% of families whose major income recipient was between 45 and 54 years of age. Not surprisingly, those with higher incomes were more likely to own RRSPs and have larger amounts saved. Nearly 90% of families with incomes of $85,000 or more owned RRSPs, compared with only 35% of families with incomes under $36,500.

  • Unlike most other components of their retirement savings, investors have control over what types of investments are held in RRSPs. The most common holding was mutual funds (38%), while guaranteed investment certificates were second (20%). Older families (55 to 64) were more likely to hold stable and predictable investment types within their RRSPs (26% held guaranteed investment certificates and 6% held Canada Savings Bonds) than younger families whose retirement investment horizon is significantly longer (15% and 3% respectively).

  • The majority of families (59%) with RRSPs held their entire portfolios in investments with variable values (mutual funds, income trusts, stocks and bonds), while just one-quarter held only assets with predictable values (GICs, CSBs and treasury bills). Two-thirds of younger families held variable-value investments exclusively, substantially more than older families. Families with lower after-tax incomes were more likely to hold only investments with predictable values (35% for families with lower incomes, compared with 13% for families with after-tax incomes of $85,000 or more).

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