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article image26% of Canadians expect bonus, most plan to save or pay off debt

By Andrew Moran     Dec 3, 2012 in Business
Toronto - Will you be expecting an annual year-end bonus from your company in the coming weeks? A new poll suggests that only a small number of Canadian workers are anticipating a monetary bonus at the end of the year.
According to a new Bank of Montreal (BMO) holiday study conducted by Pollara, only 26 percent of Canadians who are eligible for a bonus, believe they will likely receive one. Sixteen percent responded that it’s not very likely, while 17 percent noted that it’s not very likely to happen.
When it comes to the size of the bonus, 60 percent stated that it will likely remain the same. A little more than a quarter (26 percent) believe it will be more and 14 percent said it will be less than it was a year ago.
Those most optimistic of getting a nice monetary bonus this month were in the provinces of Alberta (29 percent), Ontario (32 percent) and Atlantic Canada (25 percent). Workers in British Columbia (48 percent), Manitoba/Saskatchewan (38 percent) and Atlantic Canada (28 percent) were the most hopeful that the bonus would be more than last year.
Save vs. Debt
What will Canadians do if they receive a bonus? The online survey found 26 percent will either save or invest it, a quarter say they will pay down household debt, 20 percent will use it for holiday spending, nine percent will reward themselves with a consumer purchase and another nine percent will take a vacation.
The ones that were the most likely to save or invest it resided in Manitoba and Saskatchewan (41 percent). The individuals least likely were located in the province of Quebec (18 percent). British Columbians were the most likely to pay down debt (30 percent) or buy themselves an item (27 percent) with their Christmas year-end bonus.
“This year, businesses owners have shown a remarkable resiliency and moved forward with plans to invest and grow their business," said Steve Murphy, Senior Vice President at BMO Commercial Banking, in a press release.
"In this economic environment, many Canadian business owners are looking to strike the right balance between rewarding the contributions of their employees with the need to maintain efficient business operations. One thing we know, from talking with entrepreneurs, is the importance they place on their employees and the role they play in their companies' success."
The online study was conducted with 1,000 adult Canadians between Nov. 23 and Nov. 27. It contains a margin of error of +/- 3.1 percentage points.
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