If you’re concerned about the best way to invest for retirement, In this case, a registered retirement savings plan (RRSP) can give you both short-term and long-term tax benefits, helping you save for the retirement you want.
Editorial Note: Comparewise is supported by our readers. When you find products and services through links on our site, we may earn commission.
Last Updated: Sep 22, 2023
Earn high interest on every tax-deferred dollar in your RSP account—or lock in up to 5.00% - Claim this offer
Sign up and you could earn up to $400 cash back and a 5.00% savings rate - Claim this offer
This account is one of the best EQ Bank savings accounts for storing your retirement savings. It boasts a reasonable 3% interest rate, and you won’t have to pay fees to keep it open.
One of the highlights of the EQ Bank RSP savings account is its versatility. You can maintain your retirement investments as interest-earning cash or a Guaranteed Investment Certificate (GIC). Note that you must be an existing EQ Bank customer with a Savings Plus Account to open this account.
Are you someone who’s looking to plan for retirement and wants to make sure it’s straightforward and lucrative? Well, you’re in luck because one of the best Tangerine savings accounts has got you covered.
With the Tangerine RSP Savings Account, you can automatically make maximum yearly contributions. You also benefit from a very high rate of interest. Plus, all deposits to your RSP are deductible from your annual income. This can help reduce your tax burden while giving you access to compound interest.
If you are looking for a way to generate some income for retirement, then an RRSP savings account is for you. Regardless of age, anyone who earns an honest income and files a tax return is eligible to open this type of savings account. Contributions to this account are tax-deductible, so withdrawals from this account are taxable.
Save effortlessly with systematic savings. Your payments are automatically deposited into your RRSP. You can also access your online bank and contribute directly to an existing RRSP.
An RRSP is a registered plan with the Government of Canada that lets you defer your income tax until after you retire. By putting money away in an RRSP, you’re reducing your annual taxable income for the year you contribute.
From there, your savings grow through a combination of investments according to your investor profile until you withdraw the funds for either your retirement or other projects.
The CIBC Registered Retirement Savings Plan is a long-term savings account helping Canadians save for the future while reducing taxes. Although the “Retirement” is there, it goes beyond that. This type of savings account can be used to build or buy your home or as college tuition for your partner or children.
We are all advised from a young age to start saving early and to plan for retirement. The Registered-Retirement Savings Plan, also referred to as an RRSP, is the most prevalent form of account for retirement savings in Canada.
So read to the end as I have explained comprehensively everything you should know about registered retirement savings plan in Canada.
The RRSP (which is the abbreviation for “Registered-Retirement Savings Plan”) is an account set up with the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) that lets Canadians save for retirement.
Because the money you put into an RRSP is not taxed as part of your income, you pay less income tax.
It differs from a traditional savings account in that it is a location to keep your assets where any growth is not taxed until you withdraw your funds.
In an ideal RRSP, you’ll have to retire from active service before you take your money, so by the time you’re withdrawing from the RRSP, you’ll pay less tax than you would during your higher earning years and be able to keep more of your money for retirement.
When you invest in an RRSP, your money is often retained in cash or invested in stocks, bonds, or other assets.
You will only be allowed to donate a set amount every year. However, this set amount can be rolled over to the coming years if you are unable to make your maximum contributions straight away.
Whatever money you put into your RRSP will compound with interest over time.
Upon reaching the age of retirement, you have the option of transferring your funds or assets to a Registered-Retirement Income Fund (RRIF) or an annuity for a more secure income stream.
An illustration of how an RRSP works.
Assume you earn $80,000 per year and wish to contribute the maximum amount to your RRSP.
Assuming you made $80,000 the previous year and are currently on your payments, your maximum contribution is $14,400.
When tax season arrives, the CRA will regard you as though you made only $64,600. This money will no longer be tax-free; rather, it will be tax-deferred.
You’ll have to pay taxes when you take your money years later, but by then, you’ll be retired, focusing on grandkids and bus trips rather than climbing the corporate ladder.
Because your income will almost definitely be smaller, your tax rate should be reduced as well.
You may use an RRSP to save for both your own retirement and that of your spouse. Join a group RRSP if your workplace has one and will match some of your contributions.
Your employer’s contribution alone offers a return on investment with no risk that is tough to match. RRSPs are divided into four distinct kinds. They are listed below.
In this instance, an individual opens an RRSP in their own name. They are the sole account contributors, and the tax benefits apply to the account contributor or account holder.
The federal, state, and local authorities set an annual contribution maximum for RRSPs. You can contribute up to 18 percent of your pay, or the lesser of $27,830 or 18 percent of your salary.
Additionally, contributions to an employer-sponsored pension plan reduce your contribution maximum.
If you don’t put in as much as you can each year, you can carry over any contributions you didn’t use to the next year.
In this scenario, one partner makes a contribution to an RRSP that has been set up in the name of the other partner, who is referred to as the account holder and is often the one with the lower income. The partner who makes the contribution is known as the contributing spouse.
The spouse who makes the contributions will still be eligible for the tax deduction, and the second spouse’s ability to contribute the maximum amount will not be affected by the contributions made by the first spouse.
You are able to make contributions to both your personal RRSP as well as the RRSP of your spouse, provided that both of you are eligible to do so.
Contributions made to a spouse’s RRSP will still count toward the individual contribution limit, but this might be a tax-efficient way to split your income in retirement with your partner.
Because any taxable gains from your RRSPs will be split between the two spouses when you retire, your tax rate may be lowered as a result of this arrangement.
In this situation, one spouse (the “contributing spouse,” who is often the higher-earning spouse) contributes to the other spouse’s RRSP (the “account holder,” who is usually the lower-earning spouse).
In this case, the contributing spouse still obtains the tax deduction, and their contribution has no impact on the contribution limit of the other spouse.
Contributions to your spouse’s RRSP count toward your own limit, but this might be a tax-efficient method to split retirement income and reduce your tax burden.
Upon retirement, any taxable gains from your RRSPs will be split between you and the other couple, which may reduce your tax bracket.
This is the do-it-yourself method of RRSPs. An individual investor oversees all or a portion of their RRSP, deciding what sorts of investments to include in their portfolio and which investing strategy to employ.
You can keep a wide range of investments in an RRSP, and you don’t have to limit yourself to just one or two.
Even though it depends on your investment horizon (how long you have until you need to take money out of your RRSP for retirement), your risk tolerance, and other factors that are unique to you,
Diversification can be done by combining low-risk investments like a savings account and GICs for safety with higher-risk investments like exchange-traded funds and even personal stocks for growth.
It is vital to let you know that not all investments may be kept in an RRSP. Investing in companies where you own 10% or more of the stock or in precious metals that aren’t gold or silver are examples of investments that don’t qualify.
The most basic way to save money is to deposit it in a savings account. While this will produce less return than other types of investments, it is also a risk-free choice.
Furthermore, you may always elect to use the available cash in your RRSP to acquire other investments within the same RRSP accounts in the future.
So, if you’re still deciding which assets are best for you, you can walk into any of the major bank branches or financial institutions around you to get a first-hand feel for your RRSP investment.
GICs, which stand for “guaranteed investment certificates,” are another low-risk investment option that can be bought at any bank or other financial institution.
GICs offer a predetermined rate of return for a certain period. You have the choice of investing in a GIC that is either one year long with an interest rate of one percent or five years long with an interest rate of two percent.
There is a significant drawback in the fact that the interest obtained from GICs is usually subject to tax rates that may reach up to fifty percent. When placed inside an RRSP, however, certificates of deposit (GICs) are immune from these taxes.
Large banks and other financial institutions that offer RRSPs usually do so in the form of mutual funds that are managed by a team of professionals.
Mutual funds are created by combining a number of investments into a single fund. This makes it easy to diversify your assets and, as a result, offers less risk than investing directly in the stock market.
Professionally managed mutual funds, on the other hand, bear management costs that can reach 2.0 percent each year.
ETFs are a wonderful option for anybody interested in exploring a self-directed RRSP, which offers you greater control over your assets. ETFs have only been around for a short time in the Canadian financial industry, but they have quickly become a popular investment vehicle.
ETFs are stock and bond portfolios that are meant to keep track of the stock market over time.
So, as the market rises over time, so will your investment. You will, however, lose money if the market falls.
ETFs are a suitable alternative for people who can accept some risk and do not intend to withdraw funds from their RRSPs in the near future.
Robo-advisors, which use a computer algorithm to adjust your investments rather than a professional advisor, are excellent possibilities for reducing management costs with ETFs. Consider companies like Questwealth*, BMO’s SmartFolio, and Wealthsimple.
In addition, self-directed investors who want to buy individual stocks and bonds can do so through their RRSP accounts if they so choose.
Stocks, in particular, are investments that are subject to higher levels of volatility, and thus they ought to be targeted at those who have a higher tolerance for risk and are comfortable with a long-term strategy in order to get the most out of their investments.
You have the option of working with either a traditional broker or an online broker if you want to manage your assets on your own.
An RRSP, in addition to providing a tax-deferred way to save for your retirement aspirations, is a tool you may use to help with two key life expenses: purchasing your first home and furthering your education.
In both circumstances, you can take a part of your RRSP money without paying tax or penalties if you follow a certain repayment schedule.
The House Purchasers’ Plan is a scheme that allows first-time property buyers to utilize tax-deductible RRSP funds as a downpayment on a home.
It effectively permits first-time home purchasers to borrow over $34,500 per individual contributor from their RRSPs and then return that money over a 15-year period.
If you don’t make your planned payments in a given year, the amount you owe will be taxed at your highest rate.
A comparable scheme, the Lifelong or Permanent Learning Plan, allows RRSP holders to withdraw funds for the purpose of furthering their education.
You can withdraw up to $19,000+ every year for a total of $40,000 and have 15 years to return the whole amount, much like Home Buyers Plan withdrawals.
The Lifelong Plan can be used to sponsor your education as well as your spouse’s education, but not for your kids. You are allowed to use the program again after it has completely paid-off every cent
Here are the five major benefits of the Registered Retirement Savings Plan (RRSP) for Canadians.
Whenever you make contribution to an RRSP, you get an instant tax advantage. You will be given a tax cut because your taxes are based on your gross income minus the money you give away. This means that you’ll pay far less in income taxes.
You should plan to reinvest your tax returns to get the most out of this tax break.
Returns on investments made in an RRSP are exempt from taxation and won’t be subject to taxation until the money is withdrawn after retirement.
Your ultimate RRSP portfolio will be a combination of interest earned and all contributions made. You will then begin to pay taxes on any withdrawals from your RRSP account when you retire.
This means that if you are a typical Canadian, you will pay less interest when you retire (assuming you are earning less at the time) than you did when you were working.
It is possible that opening a Tax-Free Savings Account (TFSA) early on in a person’s working career, when they have a relatively modest income but are just beginning out in their career and earning entry-level pay, would prove to be the most beneficial course of action.
A Registered Retirement Savings Plan can aid in income splitting between couples by allowing all withdrawals at retirement to be taxed at a reduced rate for both people, lowering the family’s overall tax cost. This is especially effective if one spouse has a much higher tax bracket than the other.
Your contributions to an RRSP lower your yearly income, which in turn increases the likelihood that you will qualify for several other government assistance programs.
For instance, because the Canada Child Benefit (CCB) is a refundable benefit that is calculated according to the net income of the family, you have the opportunity to get a larger amount from it.
As the saying goes, anything that has advantages must have disadvantages. This also applies to the RRSP. Here are a few negative aspects of the RRSP.
If you plan to take an early withdrawal, you will have to pay a significant withdrawal tax, which can reach up to 25% or more of the amount you withdraw.
Any withdrawals will result in taxable income for the person.
You will be restricted to contributing no more than the allotted sum each year, and you will be fined if you contribute more money to your RRSP than you are allowed to by law.
Your registered retirement savings plan (RRSP) accepts contributions of up to a certain maximum amount each year. The Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) determines the annual cap on the amount of money that can be given away as charitable contributions. In the year 2021, whichever is lower will apply:
A person will be able to contribute up to 18 percent of their earned income in 2021, with a cap on their contribution amount equal to the maximum allowed for the current tax year. This amount for the year 2022 is $29,210. For the 2021 fiscal year, it came to a total of $27,830.
If you are a contributor to a pension plan that is sponsored by an active employer, the contribution maximum that is still available to you following a pension adjustment is: The pension adjustment will be shown on the T4 slip that you get.
Be sure to check the Notice-of-Assessment or the Reassessment that you received from the CRA for the previous year’s taxes to validate the amount of RRSP contribution space you have available for the current tax year. If there is any previously unused RRSP contribution space, you may be able to use it.
To calculate how much you are eligible to contribute to your RRSP, multiply your income before taxes by 0.18. If you have an annual income of $86,000 and multiply that number by 18 percent, you will find that the maximum amount of money you are allowed to contribute in a given year is $15,484.
On your previous year’s Notice of Assessment, you can go through it to find out how much contribution space is available for you in the year in question.
The maximum contribution for high-income taxpayers is established by the Canada Revenue Agency.
If the maximum contribution to an RRSP for the year 2021 is $30,105, for instance, this indicates that if you make a high salary, you are only allowed to claim the maximum amount, even if it is less than 18 percent of your entire income.
When figuring out how much you can put into your RRSP, keep in mind the following rules so you don’t put too much in:
Consider employer contributions. You should account for your employer’s RRSP contributions when doing your calculations.
Some companies, like those that have a Registered Pension Plan or a Deferred Profit-Sharing Plan, will put money into your plan.
Subtract spousal plan contributions. To obtain a better sense of your entire contribution room, add the amount in your spousal plan to the amount in your individual plan.
If you over-contribute to your Registered Retirement Savings Plan (RRSP), you will face a penalty fee of one percent (1%) of the excess contributions already in your account.
For example, you would pay $30 per month to retain a $3,000 excess donation in your account (0.01 x $3,000 = $30).
You must pay this penalty on any excess contribution of more than $2,000 for as long as the excess contribution remains in your account. Simply remove your surplus funds to avoid this penalty.
The RRSP withdrawal regulation specifies the when and how for every registered retirement savings plan in Canada.
So, when can you take funds out of an RRSP?
When you reach the age of 65, you can begin withdrawing from your RRSP without incurring heavy penalties.
You have until the age of 71 to withdraw from your RRSP before it must be closed or moved to another investment plan, such as an RRIF.
You can also withdraw before the age of 65, provided you’re ready to pay a high tax.
When you reach retirement age, you can withdraw from your RRSP in one of three ways:
You have the option of withdrawing the total amount from your RRSP in the form of cash and either spending it or keeping it.
Simply remember to exercise caution if you are withdrawing substantial quantities. This is due to the fact that any funds withdrawn may be subject to taxation as income.
Without a doubt, yeah! The money from the RRSP can be put toward the purchase of an annuity. This is a life insurance policy that will give you a certain amount of money each and every month for the rest of your life at a predetermined rate.
The funds that you invested in the annuity will not be subject to taxation; but, the income that you get on a monthly basis may be subject to taxation.
You can certainly move your Registered Retirement Savings Plan fund into a RRIF account without paying tax upfront, just like an annuity.
Then, using a predefined calculation depending on the value of the RRIF and your age, you’ll get a minimum amount each year (less income tax).
If you choose to take money out of your RRSP before it is fully matured, each withdrawal you make will be subject to a withdrawal tax (sometimes known as a “withholding tax”) that is proportionate to the amount of money that is taken out. See the following table for the tax that is withheld from RRSP contributions.
Table of the RRSP Withholding Tax Percentages
|Withdrawal||Tax*Rate||Tax*Rate in Quebec|
|Withdrawing Up to $5,000||10%||5%|
|Withdrawing Between $5,000 to $15,000||20%||10%|
|Withdrawing Over $15,000||30%||15%|
You might expect to pay more income tax at the end of the year if your marginal tax rate is greater than the RRSP withholding tax rate. Source: Canadian Government
Only if you take money out of your account early will you be obliged to pay a withdrawal tax. This RRSP withholding tax does not apply if you withdraw funds beyond the age of 65.
Your RRSP contribution can be made at any time that best suits you. But, in order to claim your tax savings when submitting your taxes for a certain year, you must have made the donation no less than sixty days after the end of the tax year (i.e., between February 29th and March 1st of the following year).
For instance, in order to qualify for a tax deduction for contributions to an RRSP that were made during the tax year 2021, the contributions must have been made prior to March 1, 2022.
If you don’t use all of your RRSP contribution room, you can carry it over to the next year without paying a fee.
Until the end of the year in which you reach the age of 71, you are eligible to make contributions to a Registered Retirement Savings Plan (RRSP).
After that point, you are required to either take a cash distribution from your retirement savings, transfer them to a Registered Retirement Income Fund (RRIF), or buy an annuity.
Registered Retirement Savings Plans, or simply termed RRSPs, are one of the biggest techniques in Canada to save for retirement. They allow you to earn tax-free interest on your savings and give tax incentives for every dollar you invest.
The major difficulty with these funds is that it might be impossible to have access to the money you save until retirement without paying high fees.
Make your money do more.
Offers shown here are from third-party advertisers. We are not an agent, representative, or broker of any advertiser, and we don’t endorse or recommend any particular offer. Information is provided by the advertiser and is shown without any representation or warranty from us as to its accuracy or applicability. Each offer is subject to the advertiser’s review, approval, and terms. We receive compensation from companies whose offers are shown here, and that may impact how and where offers appear (and in what order). We don’t include all products or offers out there, but we hope what you see will give you some great options.
RRSPs have been around since 1957, when the federal government first introduced them. Their goal was to assist Canadians in saving for retirement by offering a tax-deferred savings plan.
The process of opening a tax-deferred retirement savings account (RRSP) is very straightforward. The only restrictions are that you must be under the age of 71, that you must be a resident of Canada (for tax reasons), and that you must file your taxes in Canada. You may even sign up as a minor (and congratulations on having such a head start on retirement!). All you'll need is written permission from a parent or guardian.
This is dependent on the amount of money you give to charity as well as the tax bracket you fall into. You may be able to avoid paying taxes on a sizeable portion of your income if you make contributions equal to or greater than the maximum allowed, provided that you have unused contribution room carried over from prior years.
If your workplace provides a group RRSP, you will be assigned a manager. Aside from that, several financial organizations (including this one) provide RRSP accounts. We're biased, but we think you'll appreciate what we have to offer, especially if you like minimal fees and an easy-to-use interface.
Depending on your circumstances, the amount you are required to contribute, which should be the contribution limit for the base year, is either 18% of your total earned income from the previous year or the maximum yearly contribution limit. It is $27,830 for 2021 and $27,230 for 2020. Your donation limit will be determined by the lesser of the total amount of your income.
It is determined by how and whether a beneficiary is named on your RRSP. Assume the recipient is a mentally or physically disabled spouse, a common-law partner, or a grandchild. In that instance, the RRSP is normally tax-deferred and handed over to the recipient. Assume you designate more recipients (or none at all). In that situation, the RRSP's commuted value will be declared as a taxable profit on your final income tax return, which is prepared and submitted by the executor of your estate.
If you have investments in your RRSP, such as stocks and bonds, you should anticipate the amount to vary like it would in any other investment account. The main worry, though, is withdrawing money too soon. You then forfeit the contribution space, as well as any tax-deferred compound interest and investment profits you may have earned on the entire amount.