A Registered Retirement Income Fund (RRIF) is a plan designed to provide Canadians with a constant income flow through retirement. The property under a RRIF is created from a transfer of funds from an RRSP or another RRIF. The funds in a RRIF are tax-deferred. Amounts paid out of a RRIF are taxable on receipt.
It is mandatory that you convert all your RRSPs by December 31st in the year you turn 71. The latest you are allowed to take your first payment is December 31st in the year you turn 72, however, the payment must be at least the full annual minimum* amount.
Canada Revenue Agency stipulates that a minimum payment must be withdrawn from your RRIF each year and reported as income. *This minimum annual payment is taken from a schedule that is based on your age or the age of your spouse.
For more information, including the factors used, please consult the following link to Canada Revenue Agency's website: http://www.cra-arc.gc.ca/E/pub/tp/ic78-18r6/ic78-18r6-e.txt
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*Note that this calculator will be updated soon.