6 key questions about your RRSP that you’ll want to answer before March 1, 2022.
While educators may think of January and February as the start of a new school term, to those in the financial field the days leading up to March will always be “RRSP season” – an investor’s last chance to make their Registered Retirement Savings Plan contribution for the preceding tax year.
For many Canadians, an RRSP – in which investment interest can accumulate tax-deferred – can significantly boost retirement savings….so they don’t want to miss it!
Karen Hubbard, Educators Regional Vice-President, talks to a lot of clients about RRSPs this time of year: “Even though RRSPs have been around for a while, many education members get a little confused on some of the specifics, such as the deadline each year, how much can be contributed, and how that figure is calculated.”
Here is a list of the most common RRSP questions:
1. When is the RRSP contribution deadline for the 2021 tax year?
You can make your RRSP contribution for the 2021 tax year up until March 1, 2022. That being said, to avoid being rushed you may want to do it before that date.
2. What is the maximum I can contribute to my RRSP?
The maximum RRSP contribution allowed for 2021 is $27,830—however, that may not be the maximum for you. Your individual maximum contribution will also reflect any 2020 pension adjustment and carry-forward of unused deduction limits from previous years.
To verify your maximum RRSP contribution limit (including any unused contributions), be sure to refer to your Canada Revenue Agency Notice of Assessment. For more information, visit the CRA website.
3. What happens if I over-contribute to my RRSP?
There’s a tax penalty. Any overcontribution of more than $2,000 above your deduction limit will incur a penalty of 1% per month.
4. If I don’t make the maximum RRSP contribution, do I lose it?
Not necessarily. If you have not maximized your RRSP contribution for any year since 1991, you can carry forward the unused room to future years. (The exact figure is included in your CRA Notice of Assessment.) There are restrictions, though.
5. I’m 70. Can I contribute to my RRSP?
You may contribute to your RRSP until December 31 of the year you turn 71 (and to your spousal RRSP until December 31 of the year your spouse or common-law partners turns 71), if you still have RRSP contribution room. Before December 31 of the year you turn 71, your RRSP should be converted into an annuity or Registered Retirement Income Fund (RRIF).
6. How do I decide what investments to hold in my RRSP?
The investments in your RRSP should reflect the time you have to invest and your tolerance for risk, as well as complement the rest of your investment portfolio.
Since 1975, Educators Financial Group has helped thousands of education members achieve their financial goals at every stage of their career and beyond. An Educators Financial Advisor can guide you on what’s right for your educator-specific needs, such as how a gratuity might impact your retirement savings strategy.