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RRSPs RRIFs and TFSAs -> RRIF minimum withdrawals

RRIF Minimum Annual Withdrawals

There is no withdrawal necessary in the year a RRIF (Registered Retirement Income Fund) is set up, but there are minimum amounts that must be withdrawn annually starting in the year after setup.  Unless certain types of annuities are held in the RRIF, the minimum withdrawal amount is calculated by multiplying the market value of the RRIF holdings at the beginning of the year by a "prescribed factor".

Use our RRIF calculator to project your earnings and withdrawals from your RRIF for the next 40 years.  The RRIF calculator will calculate minimum withdrawals, fixed annual withdrawals adjusted for inflation, or withdrawals using a fixed number of years.  If you haven't converted your RRSP to a RRIF yet, you can use the RRSP/RRIF calculator to project your earnings and withdrawals over the next 40 years.  This calculator is more versatile than the RRIF calculator (and can also be used if you have already converted to a RRIF), allowing input of different rates of return and larger than the minimum withdrawal in any year.

No tax is withheld when the minimum amount is withdrawn from a RRIF - see our article on withholding taxes on RRIF and RRSP withdrawals.

There is no maximum withdrawal for RRIFs, unless they are locked-in, such as an LRIF or LIF.  The RRIF calculator will not calculate maximum withdrawals for locked-in accounts.  If you have a locked-in account, see the article "LIF and LRIF minimum and maximum withdrawals" for help in determining your maximum withdrawal amount.

RRIF withdrawals can also be made by an "in kind" withdrawal of investments.

For RRIF owners who turned 70 or 71 in 2007, see the article about RRSP conversion to RRIF, regarding the 2007 Federal Budget changes.  This article also deals with what could be done if the minimum withdrawal was made for 2007 under the old rules.

Note that there are attribution rules regarding withdrawals from a spousal RRIF.  When a spousal RRSP is converted to a RRIF, it becomes a spousal RRIF.

The prescribed factor depends upon when the RRIF was started.

Post-1992 RRIFs

For a RRIF started after 1992, the prescribed factor is 1/(90-age), but only while the annuitant (owner) is under 71 years old.  Age is the age of the annuitant at the beginning of the year.  Thus, if the annuitant is 70 years old at the beginning of the year, the factor is 1/(90-70) = 1/20 = .05.

For example, if the fair market value of the holdings in the RRIF were $100,000 at the beginning of the year and the annuitant was 75 years old at the beginning of the year, then the minimum withdrawal for that year would be $100,000 x .0785 = $7,850.

Pre-1993 RRIFs

If the RRIF was started prior to 1993, then it is a "qualifying RRIF", as long as no new property was transferred into the RRIF after 1992, other than from another qualifying RRIF.  The prescribed factor for a qualifying RRIF is 1/(90-age) while the annuitant (owner) of the RRIF is under 79 years old.  Thus, if the annuitant is 72 years old at the beginning of the year, the factor is 1/(90-72) = 1/18 = .0556.

Prescribed RRIF Factors for Pre-1993 RRIFs and Post-1992 RRIFs

See our Table of Prescribed Factors for RRIF Withdrawals, which also shows the % increase in the rate each year.

Using age of spouse to calculate minimum withdrawals

Note that the annuitant can elect to use the age of their spouse or common-law partner in calculating the prescribed factor, for both qualifying and non-qualifying RRIFs.  When the age of the spouse is used to calculate the prescribed factor, this does not change the treatment of waiving the minimum amount in 2007 for annuitants who turn 70 or 71 in 2007, and in 2008 for annuitants who turn 71 in 2008.  The waiving of the minimum withdrawal is based on the age of the annuitant, not the spouse.

As per the Federal 2008 Economic and Fiscal Statement, the minimum annual withdrawal from a Registered Retirement Income Fund (RRIF) was reduced, on a one-time basis, by 25% for 2008 withdrawals.  The legislation for this was included in Bill C-10, which received Royal Assent on March 12, 2009.  For those taxpayers who had already withdrawn more than the reduced minimum amount, the excess (up to the original minimum amount) was allowed as a recontribution to an RRSP or RRIF, and could be deducted on the 2008 tax return.  The recontribution was required to be made by April 14, 2009.

Both the RRIF calculator and the RRSP/RRIF calculator were revised to reduce the 2008 minimum withdrawal by 25%.  Both of the calculators also waive the minimum withdrawal in 2008 for RRIF owners who turned 70 in 2007.

The recontribution to the RRIF was to be deducted on line 232 (other deductions) of the 2008 personal income tax return.  However, some versions of the tax return, such as the T1 Special and the T1S-A for seniors, did not include line 232.  Taxpayers who did not claim the recontribution amount on their 2008 return can request an adjustment to their return.


For more information on RRIFs, see the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) information circular IC 78-18 - Registered Retirement Income Funds.


Tax Tips:

Using the age of a younger spouse can be an advantage in calculating RRIF minimum withdrawals.

Your RRIF withdrawals can be made "in kind" so that investments do not have to be sold in order to make the withdrawal.


Revised: August 13, 2014



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