Calculators > TFSA vs RRSP calculator information page
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Please Note: The first time you open this calculator, please be patient - it may be a bit slow to load. The next time you open the calculator, it will remember your previous data, depending on how your cookies are set. In order for the calculator to display the previous data, you either have to always accept session cookies, or allow 3rd party cookies. If you block 3rd party cookies but always accept session cookies, the calculator should remember your data.
Our Tax-Free Savings Account (TFSA) vs Registered Retirement Savings Plan (RRSP) calculator will help you decide which type of account is better for you. This will depend on your current age, annual income now and after retirement, province of residence, as well as other factors.
The calculator uses two scenarios - deposits going to RRSPs, and deposits going to TFSAs. You input how much you would deposit into an RRSP, and the calculator determines the after-tax amount of that deposit, which is used as your TFSA deposit. You also input when you would like to convert to a RRIF, and if you would like to start withdrawing from your RRSP before it is converted to a RRIF. Once these withdrawals are started, the TFSA scenario uses the RRSP/RRIF withdrawal, less tax on that withdrawal, as the TFSA withdrawal.
The balances of pre-existing RRSPs/RRIFs or TFSAs are not entered into this calculator. Instead, the calculator requires you to input your estimated annual income, including withdrawals from already existing RRSPs or RRIFs, at the time that you start your withdrawals. This would not include the income from the RRSPs or TFSAs created by the contributions that you are making from this point on. You can use our RRSP/RRIF calculator to determine the estimated annual minimum withdrawals from any RRSPs or RRIFs that you already have.
The effective date of tax rates used is stated in the calculator.
The calculator will show any clawback of Old Age Security (OAS), as well as any Guaranteed Income Supplement (GIS) to which you may be entitled.
The result of the calculations is that the net disposable income (cash in your pocket after tax) is exactly the same in both the RRSP and TFSA scenarios, until the balance of either one is reduced to zero, unless GIS supplements are received.
For information on many of the factors used in the calculator, see the following articles:
At the bottom of the TFSA vs RRSP calculator, there is a link where you can send us comments or questions. We welcome your constructive criticism and suggestions for improvements.
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Revised: January 23, 2016
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