Research commissioned by Questrade unveils Canadians’ RRSP misconceptions

CBJ Newsmakers

Survey conducted by Canada’s fastest growing online brokerage shows beliefs about RRSPs are costing consumers money in the long-term

TORONTO, Feb. 07, 2019 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Questrade ( – Canada’s fastest growing online brokerage – today unveiled a study conducted by Leger ( to determine what Canadians want in relation to their RRSP investments and to determine any issues or misconceptions they may hold.  Results demonstrated that many, in fact, do hold misconceptions that could be costing them money, especially in the long term. 

The study demonstrated 78 per cent would be willing to switch to a lower-fee RRSP investment if the lower fees could ensure a superior rate of return.  When asked if they were able to move their RRSP easily, which factors would be most important — 66 per cent once again said they would move accounts for lower fees and better returns.  When asked for other reasons they might want to switch their RRSPs, respondents cited a number of frustrations:

  • Feeling like they’re being upsold (28 per cent)
  • Having to book an appointment and visit their financial institution in person (27 per cent)
  • Not knowing what their RRSP is invested in (26 per cent)

However, only 50 per cent believe that their RRSPs can easily be transferred between financial institutions.  Common misconceptions that prevent people from switching RRSPs were noted as:

  • High transfer fees (32 per cent)
  • Incurring a tax penalty (24 per cent)
  • Uncomfortable conversation with current advisor or financial institution (16 per cent)

These factors suggest Canadians are far from content with their current RRSP contribution process and provider and would be willing to switch.  However, when presented with an option to invest $1,500 for their retirement, two thirds (66 per cent) of respondents chose a traditional higher fee option (mutual funds) or a lower return option (savings accounts), which inhibit their long term retirement financial goals.

“We encourage everyone to examine their own goals and do a comparative study of higher fee funds versus the new lower fee options that now exist, to see the difference,” said Edward Kholodenko, president and CEO of Questrade. 

“If current choices are not maximizing one’s retirement savings, now is the time to consider a change.  Fees, the misconceptions of a tax penalty and a potentially uncomfortable discussion to switch, should not be obstacles; investors should research and identify an institution or provider that offers the best RRSP for their retirement goals and be able to easily switch their account.”

Perception versus reality:  barriers to RRSP financial success
While only 50 per cent of Canadians polled believe an RRSP can be easily moved between financial institutions, the reality is that RRSPs are easy to transfer and the recipient institution should handle a transfer seamlessly for the customer; by consolidating their RRSPs at an institution with lower fees, people may be able to achieve their retirement goals faster. When one transfers an RRSP between institutions there are no tax implications, and while some organizations charge a transfer fee, the recipient institution will usually reimburse transfer fees when asked.

What Canadians really want
In addition to lower fees and higher returns, 31 per cent identified the ability to easily manage their RRSPs and make contributions online as a factor to consider in a switch (highest in those between the ages of 25 – 44 years), underscoring the rising appeal of newer fintech companies who offer the ability to do everything online.

“Fintech companies such as Questrade offer customers an ever increasing amount of choice and ease, helping Canadians everywhere on their road to a comfortable retirement,” continued Mr. Kholodenko. “People are looking for lower fee alternatives that can also improve their returns.  Questrade offers commission-free ETF purchases in self-directed RRSP and TFSA accounts and ultra-low fees for our managed Questwealth Portfolios of ETFs – establishing alternatives to traditional higher-fee investment products, and helping Canadians keep more of their money.  We care deeply about helping our customers become more financially successful and secure, and providing lower-fee alternative investment products is part of our mission.”

For more information about Questrade RRSPs please visit

About Questrade, Inc.
In 19 short years Questrade has become the leading, non-bank online brokerage by challenging the status quo with:

  • More than $8 billion in assets
  • More than 50,000 accounts opened every year
  • Account protection of up to $10 million

In addition:

  • Questrade was also named one of Canada’s Best Managed Companies for the 7th year achieving Platinum status
  • Was recently named as one of Canada’s Most Admired Corporate Cultures™ for 2018

Questrade ( is Canada’s fastest growing online brokerage that is changing the Canadian financial services industry by leveraging technology to lower fees, and providing a viable alternative to traditional financial investment options, thereby allowing Canadians to Keep More of their Money.  Recently, Questrade launched Questwealth Portfolios™ as another tool to underscore its commitment to deliver on its mission of helping Canadians to become more financially successful and secure.  As a leader and innovator in fintech, Questrade is a trusted ally that advocates for consumers, focused on improving value.  Questrade and its affiliated companies provide financial products and services: securities, foreign currency investment, and online wealth management.  For more information visit or follow on Facebook and Twitter @Questrade.  Questrade, Inc. is a registered investment dealer, a member of the Investment Industry Regulatory Organization of Canada (IIROC) and a member of the Canadian Investor Protection Fund (CIPF).

About Questrade Wealth Management, Inc.:
Questrade Wealth Management Inc. (“QWM”) provides professional investment management services through Questwealth Portfolios.  QWM is an Exempt Market Dealer, Investment Fund Manager and Portfolio Manager.  QWM is a wholly owned subsidiary of Questrade Financial Group Inc.

Research Methodology:
An online survey of 1825 Canadians was completed between December 21 – 27th 2018, using Leger’s online panel.  The margin of error for this study was =+/-2.3 per cent, 19 times out of 20.  Leger’s online panel has approximately 400,000 members nationally and has a retention rate of 90 per cent.  Stringent quality assurance measures allow leger to achieve high quality standards set by the company.  As a result, its methods of data collection and storage outperform the norms set by WAPOR (The World Association for Public Opinion Research).  These measures are applied at every stage of the project; from data collection to processing, through to analysis. 

For more information, statistics, visuals, or to arrange an interview or in-studio segment with Questrade president and CEO, Edward Kholodenko please contact Susan Willemsen or Ruth Colapinto at The Siren Group Inc.  Tel: 416-461-5270.  Email: [email protected] or [email protected]. Visit and on FacebookTwitter and Instagram @thesirengroup.