Are you turning 71 this year? If so, it’s time to make some important decisions about your retirement savings.

At this point in your retirement journey you are required to convert your tax-deferred savings into retirement income by the end of the calendar year in which you turn 71, based on federal income tax rules.

Like many people, you may have questions about how to start drawing an income from your retirement savings. Sun Life is here to help, while offering many benefits you may not find at other financial institutions.

Contact one of our Retirement Consultants1 or your Sun Life Financial Advisor today to  help you through this important transition.

1-866-224-3906 (option 1)

Monday – Friday 8am to 8pm ET.

Frequently asked questions:

A RRIF is a plan that provides income from savings originating from a Registered Retirement Savings Plan (RRSP) or Deferred Profit Sharing Plan (DPSP). There are minimum withdrawal limits in a RRIF, but no maximums.3
A LIF2 is a plan that provides income from savings originating from a pension plan. You can select from a number of investment options and your money continues to remain invested with the potential to grow (depending on market conditions). It is tax-deferred as long as the money stays in the plan. There are minimum and maximum withdrawal limits in a LIF.3

An annuity is an insurance contract where you pay a lump sum of money and in exchange you’ll receive guaranteed income payments for as long as you choose. You can set it to pay out for the rest of your life or the life of you and your spouse. Once you’ve purchased an annuity, you don’t have to worry about how that money is invested or how long your income will last.

A payout annuity can be part of your retirement income solution. It can help reduce the worry of keeping key expenses covered by providing a guaranteed income.3

Registered Retirement Income Fund (RRIF) and Life Income Fund (LIF)2 products have legislated minimum withdrawal percentages, while LIFs also have maximums that vary by province. Speak with a Retirement Consultant to find out the withdrawal percentages that apply to you.

Please note that there may be tax implications if you elect to unlock and receive a lump-sum cash withdrawal.

No, you can defer receiving your income to the end of the year you turn 72. Because the percentage you are required to withdraw depends on your age, you can also minimize taxable income by basing withdrawals on the age of a younger spouse.

It’s easy. Just give us a call and we’ll guide you through the process. In some cases, we can take care of everything in one phone call!

You can also have a live video conference with a Retirement Consultant any business day between 8 am and 8 pm ET. These are held in a secure virtual environment where the Retirement Consultant can share their screen to display web pages, illustrations, online tools and forms.

In some cases you can unlock assets, based on rules that vary by province of registration. Call a Retirement Consultant today to discuss your personal circumstances.

Please note that there may be tax implications if you elect to unlock and receive a lump-sum cash withdrawal.

There are some tax-minimization strategies that may apply to you, such as:

  • Basing withdrawals on the age of a younger spouse
  • Choosing a specific start date for receiving your retirement income based on other income streams
  • Making a final RRSP contribution

Speak with a Sun Life Financial Retirement Consultant to learn more about tax-minimization strategies. Check with your tax advisor to ensure these strategies are appropriate for you.

The Sun Life advantage

Here are just a few ways you can benefit from a Sun Life retirement income solution:


A Retirement Consultant can guide you through the enrolment process over the phone. You can also access your accounts and helpful retirement planning tools and information online 24/7 via

Access to diverse and well-managed investment funds

You can choose from more than 70 investment options, all managed by highly qualified fund managers, many of whom are not available to the average individual investor. These funds are carefully chosen for their operational transparency, financial stability and market demand.

Competitive rates and fees

You benefit from competitive rates on annuities and group plan investment management fees on RRIFs and LIFs.

Spousal access and the ability to consolidate assets

To take full advantage of the attractive fees and features offered, you may bring assets you and your spouse hold at other financial institutions into the plan.

Ongoing support and objective guidance

You have access to confidential one-on-one guidance by phone through our Retirement Consultants, or we can match you with a Sun Life Financial Advisor who can meet with you in person to help you create or review your financial plan.