A majority of Canadians don’t feel better off financially than last year, according to a new survey.
The poll by Sun Life Financial and Ipsos Reid found that 57 per cent of respondents say they aren’t in better shape than a year ago when it comes to their personal finances.
For the minority of those who said they are feeling better – 38 per cent – 65 per cent said they paid down household debt this year and 50 per cent said they make lump sum contributions and/or regular monthly additions to their RRSP.
But the survey found that only 36 per cent of all those polled make a contribution to their RRSP.
Among women and seniors – people aged 55 and older – the percentage of respondents saying they aren’t doing better financially this year rises to 61 per cent.
“It’s concerning that a majority of Canadians aren’t feeling better off financially than they were last year – as we head into a holiday season where we tend to spend more and save less,” said Sun Life Financial Canada president Kevin Dougherty.
“Canadians can take steps toward feeling better by putting a financial plan in writing – and perhaps consider it as a new year’s resolution.”
When broken down by region, the poll found that Quebeckers are the least likely to claim being better off than last year, at 63 per cent.
Albertans came out as the respondents most likely to say they feel in better shape than the previous 12 months: 47 per cent.
That province is followed by Saskatchewan and Manitoba, at 45 per cent each, and Atlantic Canada at 43 per cent.
Atlantic Canadians are the least likely to make RRSP contributions, with 67 per cent of those surveyed saying they do not make regular or monthly contributions, and British Columbians second at 64 per cent.
Sun Life Financial said in its news release Monday that it welcomes the Quebec government’s recent passing of a bill in support of a voluntary retirement savings plan.
“Sun Life Financial welcomes this development and, outside of Quebec, believes a Pooled Registered Pension Plan will address the concerns of millions of working Canadians who do not have workplace retirement savings plans.”
The Ipsos Reid survey was conducted between Nov. 25 and Nov. 29, 2013, based on interviews with 1,234 Canadians from Ipsos’ online panel.
Ipsos says the poll is accurate to within plus or minus 3.2 percentage points had all Canadian adults been polled.
However, online surveys cannot be assigned a margin of error because they are not based on a random sample of the population, according to the Marketing Research and Intelligence Association.