Making minimal withdrawals from your registered retirement savings plan (RRSP) will ensure the steady growth of your investment and income for your retirement. Leaving your contributions put doesn’t mean you can’t transfer your RRSP, and there are a few ways to do just that. Or, maybe you want to move it from one bank or dealer to another. But, before you do, make sure you are aware of what fees to expect and know all your options.
How to Transfer or Merge Your RRSP (From One Bank to Another)
At some point, you might want to transfer your RRSP to a new bank. People do this if they want to consolidate accounts or to save on investment fees. People might also select this option if they want a self-directed account, are interested in using a robo-advisor or are seeking an alternative advisor.
But there are a few misconceptions to clear up:
- Transfer fees are high: Transfer fees might be $50 to as high as $135+tax. But you might be able to get your new bank advisor to pay some or all of your transfer-out costs.
- You have to pay tax on transfers: Transfers do not incur taxes and can be made in kind or in cash.
Types of RRSP Transfers
When making transfers, you can request a full or partial transfer, then decide if you want an in kind transfer or an in cash transfer.
- Partial transfers: Use these if you want to move certain positions in your account from one bank to another.
- Full transfers: These are if you want to move your entire account from one bank or dealer to another.
- In kind transfers: These are straight transfers from one account to the next, with no need to liquidate assets. This option is only available if the financial institution you are transferring to has the same investment assets available as you currently own.
- In cash transfers: These transfers are when you sell, liquidate or redeem assets in an old account, and transfer cash to the new account. This option is typically used when one bank doesn’t offer the same account option as a new bank.
Note: Talk to a financial advisor about the ramifications with in cash transfers. You won’t have input in selling price or times when positions or sold. If, in addition to your RRSP, you transfer non-registered accounts to the new financial institution, you might cause a capital gains tax.
To make an RRSP Transfer to a Bank
- Choose in kind or in cash for your transfer.
- Speak to the new bank where you want to make the transfer and bring a printout of your investments from your current bank.
- Ask if they will pay some or all of your transfer-out fees. Fees can vary but might be $50 to as much as $135+tax (2020).
- Confirm you know all fees and financial ramifications for making transfers as they can be quite expensive.
- Make your transfer by filling out the Form T2033 transfer form with the new bank.
Follow up with the financial institution to confirm your transfer is complete. It should take no more than 10-business days.
Ready to Find an RRSP?
Explore the different RRSP scenarios with a financial advisor, discuss the financial goals you hope to achieve, and ensure you pay the lowest taxes and have income for life. If you are transferring your RRSP to a new bank, ask if they will cover all your transfer fees. Because they provide the forms, a transfer is relatively simple. But, be sure to know the financial costs of transferring or selling assets.
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