Registered Retirement Income Fund (RRIF)

What is it?

A Registered Retirement Income Fund (RRIF) is a tax-deferred retirement account in Canada. You convert your RRSP or other retirement savings to a RRIF by the end of the year you turn 71, or sooner. It’s designed to provide you with a regular stream of income during your retirement years. You withdraw money from your RRIF, and these withdrawals are taxable. The tax is calculated based on the annual income received from the RRIF. Generally, the higher the income, the higher your tax bracket will be.

What can I use it for?

RRIFs are designed to convert your savings into monthly income payments, providing a steady stream of retirement income during your retirement years. You can use the funds from your RRIF for various purposes related to your financial needs and lifestyle, including covering living expenses, travel, healthcare, home renovations, and emergency expenses. It’s important to note that while RRIFs offer flexibility in how you can use the income, there are minimum withdrawal requirements imposed by the government to ensure that you gradually deplete your RRIF over your lifetime. Consulting with a financial advisor can help you make informed decisions about how to use your RRIF funds effectively.

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Why use a RRIF?

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Retirement income

RRIFs are a long-term withdrawal product for your retirement income. Your RRIF allows you to continue to grow your money as you make withdrawals, meaning you can continue to build new savings.


Similar to a RRSP, funds held within a RRIF grow and are tax-deferred. This means that you don’t pay taxes on the investment gains or income generated by the assets held in your RRIF until you withdraw them.

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RRIFs are the popular choice because they provide the flexibility to withdraw more or less if needed in a particular year. Plus, you can allocate a portion of your RRIF income to your spouse’s income, which can reduce your overall taxes.

How does it work?

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To open a RRIF, you must be Canadian resident and have funds in an RRSP or other eligible retirement savings plan. RRIFs require you to withdraw a minimum amount each year, starting the year after you open the RRIF. This amount is calculated based on your age and the total value of your RRIF at the beginning of the year.

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Much like other investment vehicles, you have control over your investments. You can hold a variety of products, including mutual funds, GICs, stocks, bonds, and more.

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While you must withdraw at least the minimum required amount, you have the flexibility to withdraw more if needed. And in the event of your passing, you can designate beneficiaries for your RRIF. This will allow you to pass on the remaining funds either as a lump sum or through ongoing payments.

RRIF by the numbers


The age you must convert your RRSP to an RRIF


Age you’re eligible for income-splitting with a spouse or common-law partner if you have pension income

Is this right for you?

Right for you if you: 

  • You want to continue investing and growing. Since you’re not required to withdraw all your funds immediately, you can leave a significant portion of your savings invested, allowing it to continue to grow. This is particularly beneficial if you anticipate a long retirement!

  • Keeping your money in a tax-sheltered investment is ideal. Your funds held with the RRIF grow tax-deferred, meaning you don’t pay taxes on the investment gains or income generated by the assets held in the RRIF until you withdraw them. This can help you compound your investments more quickly over time.

  • You want to pay less on your taxes each year. When you make withdrawals from your RRIF, they are taxed as ordinary income, but since you’re retired you may be in a lower tax bracket than during your working years. This results in lower taxes on your RRIF income.

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May not be right for you if you:

  • There is tax to be considered. RRIF withdrawals are taxable income, meaning they can impact your overall tax situation. If you have other sources of retirement income that already place you in a higher tax bracket, additional RRIF withdrawals could increase your tax liability.

  • You need liquidity and flexibility. RRIFs have mandatory minimum withdrawals, which may not align with your income needs or financial goals. If this is the case, consider other investment options like a TFSA.

Products for an RRIF

You've settled on a RRIF, and it aligns perfectly with your financial objectives. It's time to choose the right products to invest your funds in and watch them flourish. Your potential earnings are directly linked to your comfort level with risk.

Discover the array of options that Conexus has to offer – there's a wealth of opportunities waiting for you!

An investment vehicle that pools money from multiple investors to buy a diversified portfolio of stocks, bonds, and other securities. Their key benefits include diversification and accessibility to a wide range of investment options, making it a convenient way for you to participate in the financial markets with reduced risk and expertise on your side from Conexus.

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Exchange-Traded Funds are investment funds that are traded on stock exchanges, much like individual stocks. Similar to a mutual fund, ETFs offer diversification as a benefit but with the added flexibility to trade throughout the day at market prices.

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At Conexus, we have a range of investment products designed to help you achieve your financial goals. Our diverse portfolio includes stocks, bonds, GICs, and more, each tailored to suit your risk tolerance and investment objectives.

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Have questions? That’s what we’re here for!

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Have questions about which investment option is most suitable for you?

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