The Consumers Council of Canada has released a comprehensive research report on early consumer experiences with Tax-Free Savings Accounts. The research can be downloaded from the Council’s website.
Introduced in February 2008, and available to consumers since January 1, 2009, the TFSA has the potential to transform the way Canadians save for the future and manage their investments. The Consumers Council research report is built on interviews with industry participants, an extensive survey of Canadian adults and a detailed review of published and on-line resources. The report focuses on early consumer experiences with TFSAs, including:
- The changing levels of awareness and participation, including geographic and demographic breakdowns;
- The most commonly cited reasons for consumers deciding not to open a TFSA;
- Some of the most frequent consumer misunderstandings about the TFSA;
- How the turn in economic fortunes between the conception of the TFSA policy and its implementation affected consumer acceptance and adoption of the new savings vehicle.
To help consumers make an informed decision, the report also touches on many other TFSA issues: costs, benefits, competitive products, savings alternatives, consumer knowledge, rule changes, investor behaviour and public policy. The report includes numerous recommendations about what consumers, government and financial services intermediaries can do to improve consumer experiences with the Tax-Free Savings Account.
Consumers Council of Canada received funding from Industry Canada’s Contributions Program for Non-profit Consumer and Voluntary Organizations. The views expressed in the report are not necessarily those of Industry Canada or of the Government of Canada.