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Sixty per cent of those polled say they want to contribute to their RRSP, tax-free savings account or both, in 2013

A majority of Canadians say they plan to invest in a retirement plan this year, but many won't follow through on those good intentions, according to a new survey.

The Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce report, released Monday, found that 60 per cent of eligible Canadians polled say they will contribute to an RRSP, TFSA or both in 2013.

That's up a bit from the 57 per cent in 2012 who said they intended to contribute to their retirement nest egg.

But the bank says data from previous years indicates a sizable number of Canadians either cannot or won't sock money away.

Of the 60 per cent who say they will put some money away, 28 per cent said they will contribute to both their RRSP and TFSA this year, 19 per cent plan to contribute to their RRSP only and 13 per cent to just their TFSA.

Thirty-one per cent said they won't contribute to their retirement fund this year, up from 28 per cent last year.

The single most important reason given in 2012 for not contributing to retirement savings was lack of money; 35 per cent of those who didn't put money away gave this as their reason.

"While it's positive that so many eligible Canadians plan to contribute towards their retirement this year, we know from previous years that only 26 per cent of eligible tax filers actually made a contribution to their RRSP but our data shows 47 per cent say they intend to contribute to their RRSP," CIBC managing director of tax and estate planning Jamie Golombek said in a news release.

"If you don't have the money to make a contribution to your retirement savings, the solution may come from having a hard look at your budget. Saving for retirement is really about delaying some consumption from the present to the future."

While paying down debt is obviously key, long-term savings should not suffer because of that effort, he said.

"By restructuring your debt, or reviewing monthly cash-flow, an advisor can help you find extra money to contribute towards your retirement savings."

Make smaller, regular contributions throughout the year rather than a big, one-time investment, he adds.

Other surveys in the past by different financial institutions also found that most Canadians don't put away the maximum amount allowed, and that taking money out of retirement savings plans is rising.

The results are based on a poll conducted by Harris/Decima that questioned 1,740 Canadians aged 18 to 72, between Dec. 13, 2012 and Jan. 7, 2013. The margin of error is plus or minus 2.35 per cent, 19 times out of 20.