Only 3 in 10 Canadians plan to contribute to an RSP plan this year according to a Scotiabank survey.

This is an 8% decrease from the 39% who made contributions both in 2012 and 2011. Additionally, Scotiabank's Annual Investment Poll reports that three-quarters of respondents (74%) who hold RSPs and consider contributing more, say lack of affordability is top reason for not increasing payment amounts, compared to 84% in 2012.

The study also shows that 40% of Canadian RSP holders have withdrawn funds from their plans, up 4% from 2012. The top reason offered for making withdrawals is to take advantage of the Home Buyers' Plan to buy (or build) a first home (16% vs. 15% in 2012). Covering day-to-day living expenses (8% vs. 5% in 2012) is the next most common reason followed by paying down debt (8% vs. 6% in 2012) and doing home renovations (5% vs. 3% in 2012).

"With the new year underway and the RSP contribution deadline (March 3) less than two months away, we want to encourage Canadians to meet with a financial advisor," says Mike Henry, Senior Vice President of Retail Payments, Deposits and Lending at Scotiabank.

Henry adds: "RSPs continue to be an important and tax-effective way to maximize retirement savings. If affordability is an issue, a financial advisor can help identify ways to make that all-important contribution, big or small, as well as develop a financial plan to help achieve retirement goals."

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