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Have you checked to see if your retirement funds are locked in?

Do you have a ‘locked-in’ RRSP (Registered Retirement Savings Plan) or a LIRA (Locked in Retirement Account)?

If you do not understand what these mean, you are not alone. Unfortunately, that could mean you wait too long to withdraw the funds, thereby not being able to take out what you expected during retirement.

A ‘locked in’ plan holds funds that accumulated during your years working with a specific company. The account falls under the provincial legislation (or federal) of the company you worked for; therefore, the account must be handled in the same way your pension would be legislated.

For example, there are maximum amounts that you can withdraw annually – the account is to replace your pension if you had stayed with that company, this limits the amount that you can withdraw.

Your company pension plan will state at what age you can begin withdrawing funds – typically age 55 or, 60. When it is time to take income from your LIRA, you have a couple of options, a Life Income Fund (LIF) or life annuity.

The LIF allows for flexibility within the set limits whereas the life annuity provides a set of payments that are decided at the outset. Locked-in funds can be complicated, find a qualified financial advisor to help in your decision-making process.

Contact Carol for more information on locked-in funds, or a subject you would like covered in future.

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