Employer and employee contributions to registered pension plans hit a record high of $53.4 billion in 2009.
Employers contributed 71 per cent of the total, up from 67 per cent in 2008, according to Statistics Canada.
Roughly $12.6 billion of the employer contributions, or about 33 per cent, were for unfunded liabilities. That number is more than twice the amount in 2008.
Despite record-high contributions, membership in RPPs only increased 0.2 per cent in 2009 to nearly 6,024,000, the slowest growth rate in four years, the StatsCan report said.
The increase came from the public sector where membership was up 2.6 per cent in 2009 to 3,026,400. Number of members fell 2.1 per cent to 2,997,300 in the private sector.
The market value of assets in RPPs was $1,098 billion in 2009. This is an increase of 8 per cent from 2008, when RPPs saw significant losses as a result of the economic downturn. But assets in 2009 were still 5 per cent below the high of $1,155 billion in 2007, according to Statistics Canada.
The proportion of Canadian employees covered by an RPP in 2009 was 39.2 per cent.