RRIFs and LIFs

Why Do I Need a RRIF or LIF?

When you are ready to convert your Registered Retirement Savings Plan (RRSP) into income, but don't want to use it right away, a Registered Retirement Income Fund (RRIF) and a Life Income Fund (LIF) are good ways to hold the funds, grow your investment and continue to defer taxes until you are ready to withdraw. Although you can convert your RRSP into income anytime, government legislation requires you to choose a retirement income option by December 31 of the year in which you turn 71. 

What is a RRIF?

If you want to have complete control over how your RRSP savings are invested once you are ready, or required, to convert your RRSP assets in to income, then a Registered Retirement Income Fund (RRIF) is the retirement income vehicle for you. It is flexible and adaptable to your needs, even if they change over time.

Your investments stay tax-sheltered — you only pay taxes on the payments you receive each year, giving you ongoing tax deferral on your investment as it continues to grow within your RRIF. While there is no limit on the amount you may withdraw, the government requires an annual minimum withdrawal amount

What is a LIF?

A Life Income Fund (LIF) or, in some provinces, a Locked-In Retirement Income Fund (LRIF) are other options where you convert your Locked-In Retirement Account (LIRA) or Locked-In RRSP, much like a RRIF. Similar to a RRIF, you must withdraw a minimum amount from your LIF each year but unlike a RRIF, there is a limit placed on the maximum amount you can withdraw each year. The aim of this legislated amount is to help ensure that the LIF provides income for life. 

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