Canadian’s confidence in retirement plans has remained relatively steady despite the financial challenges brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic, according to BMO's annual retirement study released Jan. 20. 

The survey, conducted by Pollara, looked at Canadians’ confidence that they will have enough money to retire at their desired age. Nationally, 54 per cent of Canadians believe they can retire when they desire – a four per cent decrease in confidence compared to 2019. 

Canadians in Ontario and the Prairie provinces were the most confident in their existing retirement plans at 58 and 57 per cent, respectively. Confidence levels were lowest among residents in the Atlantic provinces. 

The study also showed that 64 per cent of Canadians have or still plan to contribute to their Registered Retirement Savings Plans (RRSPs) despite the COVID-19 pandemic. This result is consistent with last year's findings. Respondents from Ontario and B.C. have the highest contribution rates, with Quebec and the Atlantic provinces having the lowest rates. 

"The past year was challenging for Canadians in many ways, including financially," said  Robert Armstrong, Director, Multi-Asset Solutions, BMO Global Asset Management. "It's encouraging to see such resilience among Canadian investors, and the continued prioritization of retirement planning. Heading into 2021, it's important to continue planning for the unexpected and we encourage investors to seek professional guidance in developing a long-term plan to help ensure a secure financial future."