If you’re close to retiring, then understanding retirement planning basics is key to putting your future income and lifestyle needs into perspective. A first step is knowing your sources of retirement income, including which government benefits you may be entitled to. This guide walks through some of the most common sources of retirement income.
To start, there are three core government programs to be aware of: the Canada Pension Plan (CPP), Old Age Security (OAS) and the Guaranteed Income Supplement (GIS). The following summarizes how you qualify for these pensions and their main features.
Non-government sources of retirement income can include:
Registered Retirement Income Fund (RRIF)
Conceptually, a RRIF is like a Registered Retirement Savings Plan (RRSP). The difference is that an RRSP is used to save money for retirement and a RRIF provides income during retirement.
If you have money in an RRSP, converting to a RRIF becomes mandatory in the year you turn 71. You can set up a RRIF account through your financial institution to transfer the money from your RRSP into. Your RRIF can generally hold all the same investments as your RRSP did. Like an RRSP, any investment income in your RRIF grows tax-deferred until it’s withdrawn.
You have to start making minimum annual withdrawals by December 31 of the year following the year you opened the RRIF. The CRA determines your minimum withdrawal amount based on the market value of your RRIF multiplied by a set percentage that increases annually.
You pay income tax on any amount you withdraw from your RRIF and, if you withdraw more than the minimum, you also pay a withholding tax on that portion.
Private pension plans
Like government benefits, most employer-sponsored retirement and pension plans have rules regarding the age at which you can start getting payments. If you participate, speak to your human resources advisor to learn how your plan works. You can also contact your plan provider for an estimate of your pension’s value upon your retirement.
Looking at the whole picture
Other potential retirement income sources to consider are your non-registered savings and investments, TFSA, home equity and inheritance. It’s important to know where your income will come from so that you can create a comprehensive plan that will meet your needs.
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This article was originally published in April 2019 at https://www.investmentplanningcounsel.ca/and supplied by Scott Penney, PFP® and Wealth Advisor with Investment Planning Counsel of Canada.
The information contained in this chart is based on material believed to be reliable at the time of publication and is for illustrative purposes only. IPC cannot guarantee the information is accurate or complete. Individuals should contact their IPC Advisor for professional advice regarding their personal circumstances and/or financial position.