Did you know that you can't keep your retirement savings in an RRSP forever? When the time comes, many people move their savings into a Registered Retirement Income Fund, or RRIF. 

What is a RRIF? 

Simply put, a RRIF is one of the ways you can convert an RRSP into an income stream. Then, this income can help pay for your retirement. 

A RRIF keeps you in control of how you invest your money. You can choose to invest in: 

  • Insurance GICs 
  • Guaranteed investment certificates (GICs) 
  • Mutual funds 
  • Segregated fund contracts 
  • Other options that align with your risk tolerance and your financial plan

When do you have to take money out of an RRSP? 

By the end of the year you turn 71, you have to decide what to do with your RRSP. But, you don’t necessarily need to withdraw all your savings at once and pay a large tax bill. One choice to consider is converting your RRSP into an income-producing RRIF. That way, your savings can continue to grow tax-deferred until you withdraw funds. 

How can a RRIF help boost your tax savings? 

The tax-deferral you enjoyed with your RRSP continues with your RRIF.  

Plus, you’re more likely to be in a lower tax bracket in your retired years. This means you’ll pay less tax when you withdraw funds from a tax-deferred account like an RRSP or a RRIF.  

*Tax deferral means you won’t have to pay tax on investments growing in an account until you take money out.  

How can you control your funds in retirement?  

In many ways, a RRIF works like an RRSP in reverse. Instead of putting money in, you take income out.  

You do have to make a minimum withdrawal every year. These withdrawals are subject to tax. There's no limit to how much you can withdraw. You can take as much as you want, when you want. 

How can you leave money to your loved ones?  

In most cases, you can name your spouse or common-law partner as beneficiary. Then, your RRIF savings go to their RRIF or RRSP when you die. 

Need help getting started? Get expert advice.  

With many options available, advice from an advisor can be helpful. Talk to a Sun Life Financial advisor to learn how a RRIF can fit into your retirement planning.  

  • Most advisors now offer to meet Clients virtually by video chat. Find an advisor.  


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