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Locked-In Retirement Account (LIRA)

Just quit your job? You’re considering retirement? There are two ways to go about managing the capital accumulated in your former employer’s pension fund. Do nothing at all and let the fund managers make all the investment decisions or transfer the funds to a Locked-In Retirement Account (LIRA) or a Locked-In RRSP. The second option allows you to manage your retirement capital as you see fit!


They are special registered retirement savings plans (RRSPs) in which you can transfer the funds from a supplemental pension plan. If you prefer not to leave the funds in the existing plan, you can transfer them to a Locked-In RRSP or a LIRA, in accordance with the provincial or federal legislation governing the plan.


Both plans share many common features. If your employer is subject to Quebec legislation, you must transfer the accumulated funds to a LIRA. However, if your former employer falls under federal legislation (rail or air transportation, radio, television, bank, etc.) a Locked-In RRSP will be used.


Like regular RRSPs, they will make your money grow tax-free via a broad range of eligible investment products. Of course, investments eligible for RRSPs are also eligible for LIRAs/Locked-In RRSPs. Because of the flexibility of this investment option, you can anticipate higher potential returns on your investment by keeping a close eye on market opportunities.

Two essential features distinguish LIRAs from Locked-In RRSPs:

  • Opposite traditional RRSPs, funds are locked-in until retirement. Therefore, you cannot access the funds until the transformation to LIF.
  • You cannot contribute to a LIRA/Locked-In RRSP. Only funds from your retirement plan can be invested.


Capital from pension funds set up by companies under provincial jurisdiction LIRA
Capital from pension funds set up by companies under federal jurisdiction Locked-In RRSP


Eligibility Canadian citizens aged 71 or less who have accumulated funds in a supplemental pension plan.
Eligible investments GIC, Term Deposit, ActionGIC, mutual funds, etc.
Fiscal advantage Investment income grows tax-free.
Contributions Contributions are not allowed. Only funds from retirement plans can be invested.
Access to funds Withdrawals cannot be made, except under the following conditions:
  • doctor certifies that your life expectancy is reduced due to physical or mental disability.
Converting a LIRA/Locked-In RRSP The law allows you to keep a LIRA/Locked-In RRSP until the end of the year in which you turn 71. You must then select a retirement income option. To begin receiving retirement annuities, you must convert your LIRA/Locked-In RRSP into a Life Income Fund (LIF).
Foreign content limit Since June 28, 2005, the investment cap on foreign content has been lifted for registered accounts.


This investment product is suited for you if:

  • You prefer a self-directed investment;
  • You want earnings on investments, dividends and capital gains to grow tax-free.

This investment product is not suited for you if:

  • You prefer to rely on the services of the fund managers rather than manage your retirement capital yourself.




Legal notice

Existing investment accounts are offered by Laurentian Bank of Canada (“Laurentian Bank”) or LBC Financial Services Inc. (“LBCFS”). LBCFS is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Laurentian Bank and a legal entity, distinct from Laurentian Bank, B2B Trustco, and any issuers or mutual fund companies whose products it distributes. All new investment account opening must be through LBCFS. A Laurentian Bank advisor is also a licensed LBCFS mutual fund representative. LBCFS’s liability is limited to the conduct of its representatives in the performance of their duties for LBCFS.

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