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May 24, 2017

What do you know about RRIF?

What is a RRIF?

A Registered Retirement Income Fund (RRIF) is a tax-deferred retirement plan under Canadian tax law. Individuals use an RRIF to generate income from the savings accumulated under their Registered Retirement Savings Plan. As with an RRSP, an RRIF account is registered with the Canada Revenue Agency.


RRIF - Registered Retirement Income Fund


Are RRIF and RRSP the same?

RRIFs and RRSPs are similar in numerous aspects. They are both government regulated, both offer multiple investment options, and both allow for tax-deferred growth.

That being said, important differences include the fact that you cannot make a contribution to a RRIF, and a predetermined minimum amount of funds must be withdrawn as taxable income every year. On the other hand, withdrawals from a RRSP are not mandatory and do not count as qualifying pension income at age 65 and on. This means RRSP withdrawals cannot be split to a spouse like RRIF withdrawals can, and will not attract the pension income credit either.

Once your RRIF is opened, a minimum annual payment must be taken by the end of the following calendar year, and every year thereafter. The minimum amount could be calculated here. Earnings in a RRIF remain tax-free as they were in the RRSP, and only the amounts paid out of a RRIF each year are taxable.


Open a RRIF – Registered Retirement Income Fund

By the year that you turn 71, your RRSP account must be converted to a RRIF. In many circumstances it makes financial sense to convert your RRSP to a RRIF sooner.

Your RRIF account could be set up through one of the following financial institutions:

  • Banks and trust companies
  • Credit Unions and Caisses Populaires
  • Insurance companies
  • Mutual fund companies
  • Investment firms





  1. […] RRIF or Registered Retirement Income Funds is the most well-known option for retirees to convert their RRSPs. If the RRSP is a tool used to save money for your retirement, the RRIF is the tool to unlock those savings and turn them into your retirement income. A RRIF is like an RRSP, but you cannot contribute to a RRIF after converting from your RRSP. Additionally, a minimum annual withdraw is imposed each year for any RRIF account holders by federal regulation. All withdrawals from RRIF will be taxed as these amounts are added to your annual taxable income. […]

  2. […] at the time you receive payments from the RRSP plan in your retirement by either converting it to a RRIF (Registered Retirement Income Fund) or purchasing a registered annuity. Otherwise, while the funds remain in your plan, any income you […]

  3. […] access amount withdrawn from Registered Retirement Income Fund (RRIF) can be contributed to […]

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