Registered Retirement Savings Plans


REGISTERED RETIREMENT SAVINGS PLAN (RRSP)


Contributing to an RRSP is one of the most significant Retirement and tax planning option available to Canadian taxpayers. By making contributions to a plan not later Than 60 days after the current year end, a deduction from income can be taken in the current year for the amount within certain limitations.


Why us

Everybody enjoys the life with success achieved so far and knowing there is so much more to come. The pace of our life is so fast and at times we aren’t quite sure how we got here – yet, we have an idea of where we want to be.

Life is not a straight line yet our persistency, endurance, planning and objectivity always deliver happiness by achieving results and over time our aim is to achieve more in life. And we all have different definitions of what that looks like.


Time is on your side

To grow your savings, you need to invest them.


How registered plans can give your savings a boost.

There’s an added benefit to contributing to a registered plan: the return on your investments is not taxed.1 That means you can take full advantage of compounding interest. It’s a great reason to set up a meeting with your advisor to plan your contributions!

Not only will your savings grow, but you’ll also be able to capitalize on the interest your investment earns, assuming it makes a profit. That interest will get added to your capital and will grow itself the following year. So the sooner you start saving, the more you’ll benefit from the interest on your interest, also known as compound interest.


How often you contribute also makes a difference

You’ll save even more by contributing a small amount each month instead of waiting to make a larger contribution at the end of the year. Why wait when you can immediately start earning a return on the money you invest? And if your regular contributions are registered in an RRSP or a TFSA, the interest you earn is sheltered from tax right away. A smart move—and a profitable one! And that’s not the only benefit of making regular contributions. For most people, it’s easier to save small amounts on a regular basis than to come up with a larger amount at the end of the year.

To grow your savings, you need to invest them. Not only will your savings grow, but you’ll also be able to capitalize on the interest your investment earns, assuming it makes a profit. That interest will get added to your capital and will grow itself the following year. So the
sooner you start saving, the more you’ll benefit from the interest on your interest, also known as compound interest.


  • An immediate tax saving results and the tax refund can be reinvested or used for other purposes. 
  • Income earned on contributions accumulates tax-free, until withdrawn, 
  •  Your decision to save is immediately rewarded in the form of a tax refund or tax savings. 
  •  The income you earn on your investments isn’t taxed as long as it stays in your plan. Your savings grow tax-free. 
  •  If you reinvest your tax refund, it’s like the government is lending you money from your taxes, interest-free, so you can make it grow until you retire! 
  •  You won’t be tempted to use your savings before you retire, since you know any withdrawals will be taxed.
  • Subject to certain conditions,1 your RRSP will be safe from creditors if you ever have to file for personal bankruptcy. 
  •  You can contribute to your spouse’s RRSP if you have unused contribution room

1.Except for contributions made in the 12 months prior to the bankruptcy to an RRSP contract that is subject to seizure. An RRSP can only be exempt from seizure if a preferred beneficiary has been designated. To find out more, speak to a legal advisor (attorney or notary) about an analysis of your personal situation.

The new limit for RRSPs for 2020 is 18% of the previous year’s earned income or $27,230 whichever is lower less the Pension Adjustment (PA).

Remember that contributions made in January and February of 2020 can be used as a tax deduction for the 2019 tax year.

Tax Year

Income from

RRSP Maximum Limit

2020 2019 $27,230
2019 2018 $26,500
2018 2017 $26,230
2017 2016 $26,010
2016 2015 $25,370
2015 2014 $24,930
2014 2013 $24,270
2013 2012 $23,820
2012 2011 $22,970
2011 2010 $22,450
2010 2009 $22,000
2009 2008 $21,000
  • Taxpayers who have “earned income” for the previous year, as defined under the Income Tax Act, or income eligible for a transfer to an RRSP. 
  • There is no minimum contribution age1 and you can contribute up to December 31 of the year you turn 71.

“Borrowing” from your RRSP? 

Want to withdraw money from your RRSP? You should know that you can’t recover your right to contribute after you make a withdrawal, since your withdrawal won’t create any new contribution room. The amounts you withdraw will also be added to your taxable income. 

However, you can temporarily withdraw a certain amount from your RRSP without paying tax to purchase a first home, as part of the Home Buyers’ Plan (HBP), or to go back to school, under the Lifelong Learning Plan (LLP).

This plan allows a tax-payer and his/her spouse or common-law partner to each withdraw up to $25,000 from their RRSP to purchase their first home without having to pay tax on the withdrawal if they meet the following conditions: 

  •  They are first time home buyers (i.e., they have not owned a home in any of the five calendar years beginning before the withdrawal date );
  • The home is acquired by September 30 of the year following the withdrawal year; 
  • They begin or intend to use the home as their principle residence within one year from the date of acquisition; and 
  • They start repaying the withdrawal to their RRSP of a 15-year period begging in the 2nd year following the year of withdrawal.

Taxpayers having repaid their withdrawal before the beginning of a year may participate in the plan a second time. Taxpayers qualifying for the disability tax credit (or their close relatives) may participate in the plan even if they are not first time home buyers, provided the home acquired is more accessible or better suited for them. Contribution made to an RRSP less then 90 days before the withdrawal under the plan will not be deductible. Any withdrawal under the plan that is not repaid in a timely fashion to the RRSP will become taxable. 

This plan allow a taxpayer and his/her spouse or common-law partner to each withdraw up to $10,000 per year and $20,000 over a four year period from their RRSP to finance their full-time education without having to pay tax on the withdrawal, provided they meet to following conditions:

  • They are enrolled in a qualifying educational program on a full time basis (lasting at least three months) at a designated educational institution or have receive a written offer to enroll; and 
  • They start repaying the withdrawal to their RRSP over a 10 years period beginning on the earlier of the second year following the last year taxpayer qualified for an education amount and the fifth year following the year during which the first withdrawal was made under the plan. 

Taxpayers with a mental or physical disability may still participate in the plan even if they are no registered on a full-time basis. Contribution made to an RRSP less than 90 days before a withdrawal under the plan will not be deductible. Any withdrawal under the plan that is not repaid in a timely fashion to the RRSP will become taxable. [/vc_column_text

Quick compare

RRSP

TFSA
Age restrictions Minimum: none1
Maximum: no later than the year you turn 71
Minimum: age 18
Maximum: none
Dollar limit $26,230 for 2018 and $26,500 for 2019, indexed for inflation based on growth in the average wage $5,500 for 2018 and $6,000 for 2019 (for future years:
indexed for inflation based on the CPI2 and rounded to the nearest $500)
Contribution room 18% of the previous year’s earned income, up to the dollar limit (contribution room is reduced if you have a pension plan) See dollar limit
Are contributions tax deductible? Yes No
Are withdrawals taxed? Yes No
Is investment income taxed? No No
Do withdrawals impact income-tested government benefits and tax credits? Yes, since it is added to income No
Do withdrawals create contribution room (can you “re-contribute”)? No Yes, equivalent to the withdrawal amount (but not until the year following the withdrawal)
Can you contribute to your spouse’s account? Yes No, but you can give money to your spouse (as a gift) so that they can contribute to their own TFSA
Are the savings taxed upon death? Yes, but there are exemptions for transfers to eligible plans and/or to annuity contracts held by your spouse or dependent (grand)children No (for the value at the date of death)

Quick reference

GOAL RRSP TFSA NOTES
Retirement savings An RRSP is specially designed to encourage you to accumulate retirement income. However, it must be converted into retirement income by the age limit prescribed by law.
A TFSA can be used to complement an RRSP. It allows you to maximize your contributions and generate tax-free retirement income, without affecting the amount of your income-tested government benefits.
Down payment on a property Choose a TFSA or use the HBP, depending on your situation and financial objectives.
Start contributing to your TFSA now if you’re not eligible for the HBP.
Major expense prior to retirement In addition to not being taxable, TFSA withdrawals can be “re-contributed” in full at your own pace, starting in the year following the withdrawal.
Major expense during retirement (RRSP or RRIF) TFSA withdrawals don’t affect your tax rate or government benefits (Old Age Security and Guaranteed Income Supplement).
Building your estate (to leave an inheritance) Because you can keep saving in your TFSA after age 71, you could use it to invest your mandatory RRIF withdrawals.
Look for investments that include a death benefit and inflation protection.

SPOUSAL PLANS

If you have a spouse with lower income or no income than deductible contributions may also be made to a registered retirement savings plan for the benefit of a spouse or common-law partner, which provides a retirement income-splitting opportunity. If the spouse or common-law partner will have lower income at the time the funds are withdrawn and, therefore, be in a lower tax rate bracket, it may be more advantageous to contribute funds to a spousal RRSP. In addition, annuity payments received from a spousal RRSP can be qualifying income for the spouse or common-law partner pension credit.

If funds are withdrawn from any spousal RRSP, you will be required to include in your income an amount equal to your contributions to a spousal plan in the year of withdrawal and the two immediately preceding years. This will apply irrespective of whether your spouse or common-law partner has made his/her own contributions to the plan and even if your contributions were made to one spousal plan but the withdrawal was from another. If the value of the assets in the spousal RRSP is less than the amount contributed to it (that is if there is a loss recorded by the plan), only the lesser amount need be

included in your income. However, your beneficiary spouse or common-law partner may make a withdrawal from a spousal RRSP without attracting tax in your (contributing spouse's) hands when at the time of the withdrawal the contributing and beneficiary spouse or common-law partner were living separate and apart by reason of marriage break-down. An RRSP can also be split on a marriage or relationship breakdown. Funds may be transferred without tax consequences to a spouse's or common-law partner's plan after the breakdown of the marriage if the transfer is made pursuant to a decree, order, or judgment of a court or a Written separation agreement. 

Where a spousal RRSP has been converted to retirement income, such as through the purchase of an annuity, or to a RRIF, the minimum required annual payments can be made to the spouse or common-law partner without attracting tax in the contributor’s hands, even if the conversion occurred within the preceding three years.

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