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Benefits of an RRSP

An RRSP is a registered plan that lets you save for retirement faster by deferring taxes on investment earnings such as and . When you retire, you may be in a lower tax bracket, so your withdrawals may be taxed at a lower rate.

Contributions reduce your annual income, lowering your tax bill now

Only pay taxes on investment income when you take money out

Catch up on previous years’ unused contribution room

Numbers to Know


2023 RRSP deduction limit or 18% of your earned income the previous year, whichever is lower


Maximum amount you could borrow from your RRSP to buy your first homeLegal Disclaimer footnote 1


The year you turn 71 is the last year you can contribute to your RRSP before you need to convert it to an income option, like a RRIF

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A Registered Retirement Savings Plan (RRSP) is a tax-advantaged registered plan that can help you save for retirement and enjoy tax benefits, now and potentially in the future. RRSP contributions can be used to reduce your income tax in the current year, and any growth and income on your investments in the plan (such as and ) is tax-deferred until withdrawn. The features, benefits and rules for RRSPs are determined by the Government of Canada.

To learn more, check out RRSPs Explained: A Primer for Investors.

A spousal RRSP is a retirement savings plan that allows one spouse or common-law partner to own the account and the other to contribute to the account. A spousal RRSP allows couples to even out retirement income to minimize income tax.

There are contribution limits on RRSPs. To find out the exact amount you can contribute for the current year, check your most recent Notice of Assessment from the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA).

As a guideline, your allowable RRSP contribution for the current year is the lower of:

  • 18% of your earned income from the previous year
  • The maximum annual contribution limit for the current tax year, minus your pension adjustment from company-sponsored pension plan contributions. Your unused contribution from previous years can also be carried forward.

A beneficiary named on your RRSP does not have to wait until after your bills are paid or assets distributed to receive the moneyLegal Disclaimer footnote 6. What’s more, naming your spouse/common-law partner or a dependent child as a beneficiary will allow your executor some flexibility in determining who pays the tax bill on your death—your estate, your beneficiary or a combination of both (for income-splitting purposes). Speak to your tax advisor and a lawyer familiar with estate planning laws in your province for more information.

If you are a Quebec resident, you cannot name a beneficiary directly on any registered account but you can set this up in your will.

You can hold stocks, exchange-traded funds (ETFs), options, mutual funds, bonds, GICs and more in your RRSP, as long as they are qualified investments.

Find out more about the investments you can hold in your RRSP in the Investing Academy.

Yes—you can use it to buy a home with the Home Buyers’ Plan or go back to school through the Lifelong Learning Plan. These let you borrow from your RRSP and pay it back over time without any penalty.