FEBRUARY 3, 2023
By Sun Life Staff

Read time: 3 minutes

If you’re younger, employed, have a mortgage and little kids, it may be a stretch to contribute to your registered retirement savings plan (RRSP). But as your income goes up, increasing your monthly contributions each year can make a difference. Even if it’s only by a small amount.

By giving your RRSP contributions regular raises, you’ll be better able to:

Let’s assume that you start an RRSP at age 35 and plan to retire at age 65.

Initially, you contribute $100 a month ($1,200 a year) at an assumed 4% growth rate. If you continue to save at this rate you would have $69,994 in your plan after 30 years.

Let’s say you increase your monthly RRSP contributions by $50 each year. Then, you would be contributing $1,550 a month ($18,600 a year) by age 64.

As a result, you would accumulate $476,924 in your RRSP account by your planned retirement date. That’s nearly 7 times as much!

How can you boost your own RRSP contributions? Here are 5 ways to help

Need help getting started with an RRSP?

Talk to a Sun Life advisor.

1. Take advantage of employer RRSP matching

Do you belong to a group RRSP at work with matching contributions (up to a percentage of your salary)? A good reason to increase your annual contributions is to ensure you take full advantage of this top-up. Otherwise, you’re “leaving money on the table” that could eventually be in your pocket.

2. Increase your RRSP contributions when you get a raise

Workplace group RRSP contributions are typically a percentage of your salary. So, as your salary goes up, your annual dollar contributions will also increase. But you can boost your savings even more. How? By giving yourself an RRSP contribution raise when you get an annual pay raise.

If you allocate the first 1% of your salary increase toward your retirement savings, you won’t even feel it. That’s because instead of your pay cheque going down, it just won’t increase by as much. You can compound the impact of your RRSP contributions if you also receive a higher employer match percentage. Remember that RRSP contributions are not taxed so you'll pay less income tax.

3. Sign up for an automatic increase to your contributions

Your group RRSP or defined-contribution pension plan may allow you to sign up for an annual “auto-escalation” of your contributions. This can automatically increase your contributions. If this isn’t an option for your plan, you can request an increase to your contributions each year.

4. Add extra income or lump sums to your RRSP

Did you receive a tax return, bonus, or even an inheritance? Consider diverting these types of windfalls to your RRSP to enhance your savings even more. If your plan allows, you can make a lump sum contribution outside of regular RRSP payroll contributions.

5. Talk to an advisor 

Studies show that working with an advisor can help increase your savings – and your financial wellbeing.

  • 62% of Canadians with an advisor say they’re satisfied with how much they’ve saved for retirement. That’s compared to 37% of those without an advisor.*
  • Those who work with an advisor experience significantly higher levels of financial and emotional well-being.**

Find a Sun Life advisor todayThey can help you:

  • keep track of your finances,
  • create a plan that suits your needs,
  • answer questions about your investment options, and
  • maximize your retirement savings

Keep track of all your investments

Are you a Sun Life Client? Do you have an RRSP through your employee benefits? Log into mysunlife.ca to keep track of your investments and savings.


Log in or register today

Read and watch more:

*2019 Sun Life Barometer.

** The Financial Planning Standards Council, Value of Financial Planning study.

This article is meant to provide general information only. Sun Life Assurance Company of Canada does not provide legal, accounting, taxation, or other professional advice. Please seek advice from a qualified professional, including a thorough examination of your specific legal, accounting and tax situation.