TORONTO - Fewer Canadians are putting money into retirement plans, according to the Royal Bank's annual RRSP poll.

It says 32 per cent of Canadians have not started saving for retirement yet, compared to 24 per cent in 2008. The study also found only 36 per cent say they are planning or have planned for retirement, down from 42 per cent in 2008.

The decline is sharpest among those aged 55 and over, with 53 per cent doing any retirement planning compared to 67 per cent last year.

RBC also says just 35 per cent of Canadians have contributed to or plan to contribute to an RRSP for the 2009 tax year -- the lowest percentage of contributors since 1996.

And, among those with an RRSP who are not contributing this year or who are reducing their contribution, 54 per cent say it is because of current economic conditions.

The RBC poll of 1,457 people was conducted between Oct. 21 and Nov. 2, 2009. The margin of error is plus or minus 2.56 percentage points 19 times out of 20.