Fewer Canadians plan to contribute to RRSPs this year compared to last year (46% versus 50%), though the average contribution has increased to $5,088 from $3,984, reveals a BMO study.

Canadians’ reasons for contributing are no surprise, but reasons for not contributing raise more questions than they answer.

For instance, those contributing this year predictably say they want to have enough for retirement (40%), to receive a tax refund (39%) or to achieve an ideal retirement lifestyle (35%).

Those who aren’t contributing say they don’t have the money (42%), or that other expenses or investments take priority over an RRSP (28% and 10%, respectively).

Whether those reasons are valid or whether they highlight Canadians’ need for financial advice isn’t clear.

Here’s the breakdown across the country:

Region Percentage of Canadians who will contribute to their RRSPs before this year’s deadline Average amount Canadians have already contributed Average amount Canadians plan to contribute
National 46% $5,088 $3,304
Atlantic 40% $5,557 $2,439
Quebec 45% $4,521 $3,107
Ontario 46% $4,485 $3,532
Prairies 42% $2,112 $2,589
Alberta 56% $7,333 $3,420
B.C. 44% $6,623 $3,897

The BMO RRSP Survey was conducted online by Pollara in December, with a sample of 1,500 adult Canadians. The margin of error is ± 2.5%, 19 times out of 20.

Also read:

The risks of overcontributing to an RRSP

When an RRSP beneficiary faces a tax liability

Don’t miss these 2017 tax deadlines

Navigate RRSP attribution rules