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Press release from Marketwire

One-in-Four Working Canadians Expect to Receive Year-End Bonus-BMO Survey

Savings, paying down household debt and holiday gifts top uses for year-end bonuses - Twenty-six per cent of working Canadians expect to receive a year-end bonus - Eighty-six per cent of those who anticipate receiving a bonus believe it will be the same or more than last year - Half of Canadians who expect to receive a year-end bonus will use it to save/invest or pay down household debt

Monday, December 03, 2012

One-in-Four Working Canadians Expect to Receive Year-End Bonus-BMO Survey06:00 EST Monday, December 03, 2012TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Dec. 3, 2012) - Despite a challenging economic environment, one-in-four Canadians in the workforce expect to receive a year-end bonus, according to a new BMO holiday survey. For Canadians who are eligible at their workplace to receive a bonus, 44 per cent expect to get one, up significantly from 29 per cent last year."This year, businesses owners have shown a remarkable resiliency and moved forward with plans to invest and grow their business," said Steve Murphy, Senior Vice President, BMO Commercial Banking. "In this economic environment, many Canadian business owners are looking to strike the right balance between rewarding the contributions of their employees with the need to maintain efficient business operations. One thing we know, from talking with entrepreneurs, is the importance they place on their employees and the role they play in their companies' success."Receive Year-end Bonus?NationalATLQCONMB/SKABBCLikely26%25%23%32%22%29%17%Not Very Likely16%26%15%15%21%15%13%Not at All Likely17%16%12%17%22%20%26%Of those who believe that they are likely to receive year-end compensation, 60 per cent anticipate it will be the same as last year, 26 per cent believe it will be more, and only 14 per cent think it will likely be less than last year. Size of Bonus - Compared to 2011NationalATLQCONMB/SKABBCSame60%51%60%65%47%69%37%More26%28%22%22%38%28%48%Less14%21%19%13%15%3%15%The BMO Survey, conducted by Pollara, also asked working Canadians who are eligible to receive a holiday bonus this year what they would do with the money. One quarter (26 per cent) indicated that they would save or invest the money; 25 per cent would use the money to pay down household debt, including a mortgage, credit cards, auto loan, or personal line of credit; 20 per cent said they would use it to pay for holiday spending. Other popular choices included rewarding themselves with a new consumer purchase (9 per cent) or taking a vacation (9 per cent).Uses for Holiday Bonuses NationalATLQCONMB/SKABBCSave or Invest it26%23%18%27%41%28%29%Pay down household debt25%25%20%28%18%24%30%Pay for Holiday spending20%18%32%18%23%12%8%Reward yourself with a new consumer purchase9%10%6%6%6%16%27%Take a vacation9%3%16%5%8%13%7%For Canadians looking to pay down debt heading into 2013, BMO offers the following tips:Don't overspend - Develop a budget that establishes how household expenses will be paid and how spending will be managed. Take advantage of free online tools, such as BMO MoneyLogic™, to help stay on top of everyday household spending and saving. Curb credit card debt - Pay down credit cards - beginning with those that carry the highest rate - and consider using a low rate card for purchases. For instance, the BMO Preferred Rate MasterCard offers a low rate of 11.9 per cent for an annual fee of $20 per year.Invest to save - Set up a Tax Free Savings Account (TFSA) or high interest savings account to set aside extra cash in case of an emergency. Also consider using Exchange Traded Funds to reduce management expense fees. Become mortgage free faster - Choosing a lower amortization and increasing monthly payments on mortgages can help you pay off your mortgage faster while saving you thousands of dollars in interest costs. Have a Back-up Plan - Develop a fall-back plan in case you are unable to meet your financial obligations as a result of unexpected circumstances, such as loss of work or damage to personal property - such as your home or vehicle. The general rule of thumb is to have an emergency fund set aside that is equal to three to six months of your income in a high-interest savings account, such as the BMO Smart Saver Account. BMO's Commercial Banking Holiday Survey was conducted by Pollara Strategic Insights. The survey results cited in this release are from online interviews with a random sample of 1,000 Canadians 18 years of age and older, carried out between November 23rd and November 27th, 2012. A probability sample of this size would yield results accurate to ± 3.1 per cent, 19 times out of 20.About BMO Financial Group Established in 1817 as Bank of Montreal, BMO Financial Group is a highly diversified North American financial services organization. With total assets of $542 billion as at July 31, 2012, and more than 46,000 employees, BMO Financial Group provides a broad range of retail banking, wealth management and investment banking products and solutions. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION PLEASE CONTACT: Contact Information: Media Contacts:Paul Cunliffe, Toronto(416) 867-3996paul.cunliffe@bmo.comValerie Doucet, Montreal(514) 877-8224valerie.doucet@bmo.comLaurie Grant, Vancouver(604) 665-7596laurie.grant@bmo.comInternet: www.bmo.comTwitter: @BMOmedia