Locked-in RRSPs, Pensions non-resident


The whole concept of Locked-in RRSPs is unbelievable. Here we are all Canadians and should have the same rights, whomever we worked for, what Province we live(d) in, or which Jurisdiction our Pension falls under. Not true. There doesn't seem to be a place to go to find information on this, to correct this, or to discuss this. I just set up a Yahoo group if that can be of help: ca.groups.yahoo.com/group/Locked-in_RRSP. It needs publication. Can you help? It will be an open membership until such time that people try to take it over for spam.
A question I would have, is can a non-Canadian have a locked-in RRSP. My wife is not Canadian so what would happen if I died? I live in the Philippines (and am Canadian).
david ingram replies:

Depending upon what province you moved from, you can likely unlock your RRSP and withdraw it. Read these other two answers:

My question is: Applicable to both US and Canada

QUESTION: I am a permanent Resident in the United States. I have a locked in
RRSP of about $500,000 CDN and am 56 years of age.

When will I be able to liquidate the RRSP and what tax will be due and to
which country. My full employment income is US based and all taxes due are to
the US government.

david ingram replies:

A locked in RRSP can NOT be rolled into a RRIF. It can be rolled into a
lifetime annuity or a LIF (Life Income Fund) or a LRIF (Locked-in Retirement
Income Fund). If your LIF was from Ontario, Alberta or BC or a federal
pension (CN Railroad for instance) a LIF requires you to purchase a life
annuity by age 80, an LRIF does not, leaving you more control over your

If you do the annuity route, Canada will get 15% tax under Article XVIII of
the US Canada Income Tax Treaty. You will then report the income again on
your US return and claim the 15% tax paid to Canada on US form 1116 under
the "other" classification.

BC and Alberta and I think Ontario will allow you to withdraw your RRSP if
you become a non-resident of Canada.
Those rules can be found in this older CEN-TAPEDE



I am a Canadian citizen currently resident of Washington state, USA. I
have a locked-in RRSP in TD Canada Trust in Alberta. I would like to un-lock
the RRSP for the purpose of purchasing a home here. The bank suggested
contacting the government and asking for permission, but could give me no
other contact information or advice. Is it possible to make this
transaction, and how would I go about it?


david ingram replies

You are in luck. Alberta is one of three jurisdictions which allow the
unlocking g of a locked in plan when you become a non-resident of Canada.
However, I have never been involved in an Alberta locked-In plan withdrawal.

In BC, you must be gone for more than two years and write the Superintendent
of Financial Institutions for written permission to withdraw the money. The
superintendent writes the letter to you, you take it to the Financial
Institution which withholds 25% tax and gives you the rest. A letter from
the CRA will also help.

Alberta's rules allow for the withdrawal as soon as you have become a
non-resident. You need a letter from the CRA acknowledging that you are a
non-resident. Take it to the TD - Canada Trust Branch along with a copy of


And you should get your money less a 25% withholding tax.

Let me know what happens.
We will help prepare your federal and state income tax return or provincial
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check the status online. We will do the 1040 or 1040NR or 1040X pr 1041
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Mexican return as well with our Guadalajara consultant, David Holroyd.

Whether it is help with specific or general information, filing, or just an
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Our help is NOT free however. Typically, we charge $400 Cdn per hour for
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after the TDF-90 and form 8891 RRSP reporting forms as well.