Canadians put more money in their tax-free savings accounts this year despite the financial effects of the global pandemic, according to a Bank of Montreal survey.

The annual report found that the average amount held in a TFSA climbed more than nine per cent to $30,921 from a year ago. Fifty-three per cent of Canadians said they contributed the amount they expected this year, just slightly down from 58 per cent.

Yet, the report says Canadians are underutilizing their TFSAs, with only 49 per cent saying they’re aware a TFSA can hold both cash and at least one other type of investment.

The survey found that cash is the primary investment, making up about 38 per cent of the TFSA on average.

"Despite such a challenging year, it's encouraging to see that Canadians are resilient when it comes to savings," said Nicole Ow, BMO’s head of term investments, in a release.

“TFSAs can be a great vehicle to grow savings for short or long-term goals, but it's important to have the money that is contributed working for the investor."

The online survey conducted by Pollara Strategic Insights polled 1,500 Canadians between Nov. 17 and 23.


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