Retirement income plus tax-sheltered growth

If you have an RRSP and/or locked-in savings that came from a pension plan, you have to make a choice about what to do with that money by December 31 of the year in which you turn 71. While you may take out your RRSP money in cash, taxes can make that a very expensive choice.  And locked-in money must be used for retirement income except in very special circumstances.

That leaves 2 choices. Buying an annuity is one option for all or a portion of your savings. An alternative option is to transfer your money to another registered product that will pay you a regular stream of retirement income while keeping the balance of your savings in a tax-deferred investment.


Types of retirement income vehicles or options:

RRIFs

  • A registered retirement income fund (RRIF) is a way for you to use your RRSP savings to generate retirement income while keeping the balance of your registered savings invested in a tax-deferred plan.
  • While you are required to make a minimum withdrawal each year, there are no other limits on withdrawals and the balance of your savings can continue to grow tax free (until withdrawn).

Learn more about RRIFs

LIFs

  • A life income fund (LIF) or locked-in retirement income fund (LRIF, RLIF, PRIF) is like a RRIF, but is for money that originally came from a pension plan. The funds are held in either a locked-in retirement account (LIRA) or a locked-in RRSP and then converted to a LIF.
  • While different provinces have different rules, both LIFs and LRIFs have both minimum and maximum annual withdrawal amounts.

Learn more about LIFs

Invest in a RRIF or LIF

Step 1: Find an advisor

An advisor’s job is to help you understand how different products – each with their own features and options – can best meet your individual needs. Talk to your advisor; if you don't have an advisor, find one you're comfortable working with. There’s no cost to talk to an advisor.

Step 2: Meet with your advisor

To get the most out of the meeting with your advisor, take some time beforehand to think carefully about what you want to achieve. To help your advisor recommend the right products for your needs, it will be helpful to gather some basic information about your income, assets and liabilities – including your savings, investment and pension plan statements.

Step 3: Make your investment

Your advisor will help you with any paperwork that’s required and ensure your money is transferred. Shortly after making your investment, you will receive a statement confirming the details of your account. Portfolio reviews may be done regularly to confirm your strategy and assess progress toward your goals.