Savings Account Types
Registered Education Savings Plan (RESP)
- A savings plan sponsored by the Canadian government that encourages investing in a child's future post-secondary education. Subscribers to an RESP make contributions that build up tax-free earnings - tax-free because subscribers cannot deduct payments made to the plan from their income. The government contributes a certain amount to plans for children under 18 under the Canada Education Savings Grant (CESG).
Canada Education Savings Grant (CESG)
- A grant from the Government of Canada paid directly into a beneficiary's Registered Education Savings Plan (RESP). It adds 20% to the first $2,000 in contributions made into an RESP on behalf of an eligible beneficiary each year.
Tax-Free Savings Account (TFSA)
- An account that does not charge taxes on any contributions, interest earned, dividends or capital gains, and can be withdrawn tax free. Tax Free Savings Accounts were introduced in Canada in 2009 with a limit of $5,000 per year, which is indexed for subsequent years. The contributions are not tax deductible and any unused room can be carried forward. This savings account is available to individuals aged 18 and older and can be used for any purpose.
Registered Retirement Savings Plan (RRSP)
- A legal trust registered with the Canada Revenue Agency and used to save for retirement. RRSP contributions are tax deductible and taxes are deferred until the money is withdrawn. An RRSP can contain stocks, bonds, mutual funds, GICs, contracts and even mortgage-backed equity. RRSPs have two main tax advantages:
- Contributors deduct contributions against their income. For example, if a contributor's tax rate is 40%, every $100 he or she invests in an RRSP will save that person $40 in taxes, up to his or her contribution limit.
- The growth of RRSP investments is tax sheltered. Unlike with non-RRSP investments, returns are exempt from any capital-gains tax, dividend tax or income tax. This means that investments under RRSPs compound at a pretax rate.
Spousal Registered Retirement Savings Plan (Spousal RRSP)
- A Spousal RRSP allows a higher earner, termed a spousal contributor, to contribute to an RRSP in the spouse's name. In this case, it is the spouse who is the account holder. The spouse can withdraw the funds, subject to tax, after a holding period. A spousal RRSP is a means of splitting income in retirement: By dividing investment properties between both spouses each spouse will receive half the income, and thus the marginal tax rate will be lower than if one spouse earned all of the income.
Locked-In Retirement Account (LIRA)
- A retirement fund similar to an annuity contract that pays out income to a beneficiary or a number of beneficiaries. To fund their retirement, RRSP holders often roll over their RRSPs into an RRIF. RRIF payouts are considered a part of the beneficiary's normal income and are taxed as such by the Canadian Revenue Agency in the year that the beneficiary receives payouts. The organization or company that holds the RRIF is known as the carrier of the plan. Carriers can be insurance companies, banks or any kind of licensed financial intermediary. The Government of Canada is not the carrier for RRIFs; it merely registers them for tax purposes.
Life Income Fund (LIF)
- In Canada, a type of registered retirement income fund that is used to hold pension funds, and eventually payout retirement income. The life income fund (LIF) cannot be withdrawn in a lump sum; rather, owners must use the fund in a manner that supports retirement income for their lifetime. Each year's Income Tax Act specifies the minimum and maximum withdrawal amounts for LIF owners, which takes into consideration the LIF fund balance and the owner's annuity factor.
Locked-In Retirement Income Fund (LRIF)
- A type of registered retirement savings alternative that locks in the pension funds in investments. While the funds are locked in, they are unavailable for cash-out. Pension funds that are transferred to a LIRA are used to purchase a life annuity, transferred to a life income fund (LIF) or to a locked-in retirement income fund (LRIF). Upon reaching the retirement age, the life annuity, LIF and/or LRIF provide a pension for life.
Registered Pension Plan (RPP)
- A form of a trust that provides pension benefits for an employee of a company upon retirement. RPPs are registered with the Canada Revenue Agency. The employee and employer, or just the employer make contributions to this retirement plan until the employee leaves the company or retires.
Group Registered Savings Plan (GRSP)
- In a group RRSP, an employer arranges for employees to make contributions, as they wish, through a schedule of regular payroll deductions. The employee can decide the size of contribution per year and the employer will deduct an amount accordingly and submit it to the investment manager selected to administer the group account. The contribution is then deposited into the employee’s individual account and invested as specified.
Registered Disability Savings Plan (RDSP)
- A Registered Disability Savings Plan (RDSP) is a savings plan to help parents and others save for the long-term financial security of Canadians with disabilities. In order to open an RDSP account, the beneficiary must be eligible for the disability tax credit, must have a valid social insurance number (SIN), must be a resident of Canada and must be under the age of 60. In order to apply for the disability tax credit, form T2201 must be submitted and approved by the CRA. Anyone can contribute to an RDSP for the beneficiary (including the beneficiary themselves) as long as they have the written permission of the plan holder.
Deferred Profit Sharing Plan (DPSP)
- An employer-sponsored Canadian profit sharing plan that is registered with the Canadian Revenue Agency. On a periodic basis, the employer shares the profits made from the business with all employees or a designated group of employees. Employees receiving a share of the profits paid out by the employer do not have to pay federal taxes on the money received from the DPSP until it is withdrawn.
- A type of investment account that allows Canadian citizens to save money for the long term. Non-registered accounts only tax the capital gains realized inside the account at 50% of the account holder's top marginal tax rate. And unlike RRSPs, non-registered accounts have no contribution limits.
Account In Trust
- An account that is managed by one party for the benefit of another. It is sometimes called an account held in trust, and the trust relationship can be either explicit or implied. Accounts-in-trust are typically set up for minors, and transfer of ownership will occur when the minor reaches legal age.