What is an RRSP?

An RRSP is a registered investment account that lets you save for your retirement by deferring taxes on your investment earnings. This means more of your money can stay invested and grow faster.

An RRSP also helps you lower your tax bill today, by allowing you to deduct RRSP contributions from your taxable income. By the time you retire you will likely be in a lower tax bracket, so withdrawals are taxed at a lower rate than today.

Here’s why nearly half of Canadians polled invest in an RRSP1:

  • Use an RRSP to save for retirement while also saving for anything in a TFSA
  • Contributions reduce your annual income, lowering your tax bill
  • Taxes on your investment income are only paid when withdrawn
  • You can borrow money from your RRSP to go to school2 or buy your first home3 without penalty, provided it is repaid within the required time
  • You can make up for missed contribution room from previous years

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How an RRSP Works

Here's how an RRSP can help you save for a comfortable retirement:

An RRSP is a type of registered investment account, which means you can hold income-generating investments in it versus just cash (like a savings account).

The types of investments you can buy in your RRSP depend on where you open an account. You also want to consider your appetite for risk when choosing investments.

  • RBC Royal Bank: Ideal if you want investment advice and access to an advisor – in-person, by phone or over video.

  • RBC Direct Investing opens in new window7 : Ideal if you want to make your own investment decisions

    • Offers stocks, options, Exchange-Traded Funds (ETFs), mutual funds, bonds and GICs

  • RBC InvestEase opens in new window 6: Ideal if you want to invest online and access Portfolio Advisors

    • Offers ETF portfolios designed for different investors (each portfolio holds a diverse mix of ETFs)

Ways to Invest Your Money at RBC

Tip: At RBC, you can open an RRSP with any amount you are comfortable with. Just keep your contribution (deduction) limits in mind.

Since the investment income you earn in an RRSP (interest, dividends or capital gains) is not taxed until it’s withdrawn, it has the opportunity to grow faster than it would in a non-registered account.

Another way to save faster is by setting up regular (weekly, monthly, etc.) automatic contributions into your RRSP.

  • You decide how much to save and how often—weekly, bi-weekly, monthly—it’s up to you. Tip: Keep your available RRSP contribution (deduction) room in mind when setting up automatic contributions.
  • Contributions are automatically debited from your bank account (at RBC or another financial institution).
  • You can change how much you want to save, how often you contribute, and stop or pause your contributions at any time.

By December 31 of the year you turn 71, you must stop contributing to your RRSP and convert it to an income option such as a Registered Retirement Income Fund (RRIF) or annuity. A RRIF is like an extension of your RRSP, but instead of putting money in, you withdraw money to use throughout retirement.

You may be able to borrow from your RRSP for other purposes, as well.

Here are a few things to know:

  • Withdrawals from your RRSP or RRIF are considered part of your taxable income.
  • Withdrawals can affect your eligibility for government benefits, such as Old Age Security (OAS).
  • Early withdrawals from your RRSP will raise your tax bill and have a withholding tax deducted upfront.
  • The Home Buyers’ Plan may let you borrow up to $35,000 from your RRSP to buy your first home.3
  • The Lifelong Learning Plan may let you borrow up to $10,000 in a calendar year (to a maximum of $20,000) from your RRSP to cover training or education for yourself or your spouse.2

Numbers to Know

$27,830

2021 RRSP deduction limit—or 18% of your earned income the previous year—whichever is lower

$35,000

Maximum amount you may be able to borrow from your RRSP to buy your first home3

71

The age at which contributions stop and you need to convert your RRSP to an income option (like a RRIF)

See How Saving Regularly Could Help Your RRSP Grow

The following chart shows how $50 contributed weekly, earning 6% interest, can grow to over $218,000 over 30 years.

RRSP Chart

The following chart shows how $50 contributed weekly, earning 6% interest, can grow to over $218,000 over 30 years.

RRSP Chart

RRSP Calculator

See how convenient it is to save with regular, automatic contributions to your RRSP*.

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Contribution Rules, Fees & More

RRSP Rules and Contributions

Get details on eligibility, contributions, withdrawals and other important information.

Read More about RRSP rules and contributions

RRSP Fees

If you transfer your RBC RRSP to a financial institution outside RBC (and its affiliates), a $50.00 fee will apply.

Learn More about RRSP fees

TFSA vs RRSP vs Savings Account

Deciding between a TFSA and an RRSP or an RBC eSavings account?

Compare Accounts TFSA vs RRSP vs Savings

RRSP FAQs

  • Individual RRSP: The most common type of RRSP is a plan registered in your name. The investments held in the plan and all the tax benefits belong to you.
  • Spousal RRSP: When you contribute to a spousal RRSP, you still get the tax deduction but the plan is registered in your spouse's name. (Your spouse's contribution limit to his or her own plan is not affected.) It’s a great income-splitting option if one of you earns more than the other.
  • Locked-in RRSP: If you leave your employer before you retire, you may be offered the option to manage your vested pension funds. A Locked-in RRSP—Locked-in Retirement Account (LIRA) in some provinces—enables you do this.
  • Group RRSP: Some employers offer a Group RRSP, a collection of individual RRSPs for the company’s employees. As an employee, your RRSP contributions are taken from your pre-tax pay through payroll deductions, reducing your tax burden immediately.

At RBC, you can open an RRSP at:

  • RBC Royal Bank: Ideal if you want investment advice and access to an advisor—in-person, by phone or over video. Choose from mutual funds, GICs and savings deposits to hold in your RRSP.
  • RBC Direct Investing : Ideal if you want to trade and invest yourself using powerful online tools and resources. Choose from stocks, options, Exchange-Traded Funds (ETFs), mutual funds, bonds and GICs to hold in your RRSP.
  • RBC InvestEase : Ideal if you want to invest without having to research a single investment. Answer a few questions and RBC InvestEase will match you to a professionally-built ETF portfolio.

The types of investments you can buy in your RRSP depend on where you open an account. You also want to consider your appetite for risk when choosing investments.

  • RBC Royal Bank: Offers mutual funds, GICs and savings deposits. Ideal if you want investment advice and access to an advisor—in-person, by phone or over video.
  • RBC Direct Investing : Offers stocks, options, Exchange-Traded Funds (ETFs), mutual funds, bonds and GICs. Ideal if you want to trade and invest yourself using powerful online tools and resources.
  • RBC InvestEase : Offers ETF portfolios designed for different investors (each portfolio holds a diverse mix of ETFs). Ideal if you want to invest without having to research a single investment.

Yes, you can set up automatic contributions to your RRSP using funds from your chequing or savings account at RBC or another financial institution. Try the RRSP calculator to see the benefits of regular, ongoing contributions.

This amount varies per person. To find out the exact amount you can contribute for the current year, check your most recent Notice of Assessment from the CRA, which you can access through the “My Account” function on the CRA website.

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 tax year
  • The remaining limit after any company-sponsored pension plan contributions

Below are the maximum annual RRSP contribution limits from 2013-2021

Year Contribution Limit Per Year
2013 $23,820
2014 $24,270
2015 $24,930
2016 $25,370
2017 $26,010
2018 $26,230
2019 $26,500
2020 $27,230
2021 $27,830

See All FAQs

Invest in an RRSP Today

Choose from the following options to open or contribute to an existing account: