04/07/2015 04:00 EDT | Updated 06/07/2015 05:59 EDT

Canadians Fear They're Not Putting Away Enough; Savings Rate Drops By Half Since 90s

TORONTO - A new survey of Canadians found almost 20 per cent of respondents didn't put aside a dime in 2014 and a further 40 per cent felt they were not saving enough.

This year's household savings report from BMO Financial Group says 31 per cent of respondents had a fixed savings plan in place that included monthly contributions.

That was a significant increase from the previous year when only 26 per cent reported implementing such a plan.

The BMO study also revealed that a third had less than $10,000 in savings.

Money for vacations was the most common goal among savers, while 43 per cent were saving for retirement and 40 per cent for emergencies.

Statistics Canada has found the household savings rate hit a five-year low of 3.6 per cent in the fourth quarter of 2014.

Over the last 10 years, the average household savings rate was just four per cent, down from 7.9 per cent in the 1990s.

The BMO survey was conducted between March 13 and March 16 with an online sample of 1,002 Canadians. The polling industry's professional body, the Marketing Research and Intelligence Association, says online surveys cannot be assigned a margin of error because they do not randomly sample the population.

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