Dictionary, Census of Population, 2021
Contributions to registered retirement savings plans (RRSPs)

Release date: November 17, 2021Updated on: July 13, 2022


Total registered retirement savings plan (RRSP) contributions a person deducted against his or her income for a given tax year.

Contributions eligible for deductions include deposits made to his or her own registered retirement savings plans (RRSPs) and pooled registered pension plans (PRPPs) as well as his or her spouse's or common-law partner's registered retirement savings plans.

Individuals can make contributions to these plans up to a specified limit, known as the RRSP deduction limit for each tax year. The RRSP deduction limit is set at 18% of the contributor's prior year earned income up to an annual maximum, plus any unused RRSP deduction room carried forward from previous years, less any pension adjustments that are associated with registered pension plans (RPPs) from prior year and any employer's pooled registered pension plan (PRPP) contributions for the given tax year.

For the 2021 Census, the reference period for income data is the calendar year 2020, unless otherwise specified.

Statistical unit(s)


Reported in

2021 and 2016 (100% data).

Reported for

Population aged 15 years and over in private households

Question number(s)

Variable derived based on administrative tax and benefit records received from the Canada Revenue Agency.


Positive dollar value or nil


An individual cannot contribute to his/her own RRSP after the year that he or she turns 71 years of age, but may still contribute to his or her spouse's or common-law partner's RRSP until the year that their spouse or common-law partner turns 71 years of age.

RRSP contributions are eligible for tax deduction for a given tax year as long as they are made prior to the RRSP contribution deadline for that tax year. Contribution deadline typically falls on the last day of February in the year when taxes are filed.

Repayments under the Home Buyers' Plan (HBP) or Lifelong Learning Plan (LLP) are not included.

For additional information about data collection method, coverage, reference period, concepts, data quality and intercensal comparability of the income data, refer to the Income Reference Guide, Census of Population, 2021.

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