Alert Icon
New Achieva Online Banking launching soon!
A better online experience is on its way with a refreshed design and new functionality.

Learn more
Close Icon
Banking Accounts

Converting your RRSP into a RRIF

October 20, 2023
min read

Years ago, you opened your RRSP to build your retirement savings. Now, the day has come where you can enjoy the savings you worked hard to build!

By the end of the year you turn age 71, you must convert your RRSP to a RRIF as per government regulations. This is because your registered retirement savings plan (RRSP) matures, so you can no longer contribute to it.

At that point, it's time to transition from building your retirement fund to strategically decumulating it as it becomes part of your income.

So, how do you do it?

To answer that, we’re explaining the difference between RRIF vs RRSP, how your new RRIF works, and how to safely grow your savings through retirement:

A tax-deferred account that you use to save for retirement. You receive a tax credit for your contributions.
A registered retirement income fund is the savings account you withdraw from during retirement. Instead of putting money into this account, you take money out of it each month or year.

How a RRIF works

If you were to withdraw your entire RRSP at once, you would be taxed at much higher rate. Instead, you can convert it to a RRIF and withdraw a portion of it each year to keep your taxes lower.

A registered retirement income fund (RRIF) is a savings account you take payments from to supplement your income in retirement.  

You can use your RRIF to invest in the same accounts as you did with your RRSP. This allows you to grow your savings while still using your RRIF as a regular income stream.

Two common options include:


Just like with an RRSP, your RRIF allows you to make tax-deferred investments. That means you only pay taxes on GIC interest when you withdraw money. With a RRIF GIC, you can set up a payment schedule that suits your lifestyle.

RRIF high-interest savings account

A RRIF high-interest savings account keeps your funds fully accessible for whenever you need them. You can make withdrawals at any time and still earn a high interest rate on the remaining balance.

How to convert your RRSP into a RRIF

Now that you know the difference between a RRIF and an RRSP, you can better see why converting yours before the deadline is so important.

To get started, all you need to do is contact us. We can help you convert your Achieva RRSP to a RRIF or transfer your account from another institution.

Tax tip: You can make your last RRSP contribution before you convert it into a RRIF.

What is the penalty for not converting your RRSP to a RRIF?

If you don’t convert your RRSP, then all of your RRSP savings will be treated as taxable income for that year. This will put you in a higher tax bracket, and it means a significant portion of your retirement savings will be taxed all at once.

The advantage a RRIF offers is that you withdraw smaller amounts over time, which means you’re typically taxed at a lower rate.

Convert your RRSP to a RRIF with Achieva today!

While the process can seem overwhelming at first, we make it simple! If you already have an RRSP with us, or you’d like to transfer one from another financial institution, we can help. Contact us today to get started.

Want to Discuss with an Advisor?

We would be happy to discuss your unique situation with you.
Our goal is to make complex topics like this one, simple.

“I had a wonderful experience at Cambrian. I've been with the same institution for the last 21 years and all the fees and restrictions have finally pushed me into wanting to make some changes.

My advisor was prepared for my arrival with all the documents ready and waiting. He took the time to go over each one...”

Read full client story

on his experience with Cambrian


Buying a Home?
Check out these Resources

The True Cost of Buying a Home
November 7, 2022
min read

Learn how consolidating your debt can help you reach your financial goals.

The True Cost of Buying a Home
November 7, 2022
min read

Since the beginning, Achieva has offered our customers highly competitive interest rates, securely and without hassle, allowing you to grow your savings confidently.

The True Cost of Buying a Home
November 7, 2022
min read

MyCRA is a convenient way to access and track your personal tax information.