What is a spousal RRSP?

Financial Planning

What is a spousal RRSP?


What is a spousal RRSP?

  • A spousal RRSP is an RRSP that is opened by your spouse, but you contribute to it
  • Your contributions are based on your contribution limit and you claim the tax deduction
  • Your spouse is the legal owner of the plan and makes all investment decisions and withdrawals
  • A spousal RRSP provides an opportunity for income splitting at any age (subject to certain tax rules called attribution rules), and you choose the amount to split by deciding how much to contribute

Note that your “spouse” can be either your common-law or married partner.

How spousal RRSPs can help you split income

With spousal RRSPs, you can split income any time, as long as the attribution rules don’t apply. If a spousal contribution hasn’t been made in the current calendar year or the two previous calendar years, any withdrawals from the RRSP will be taxed to your spouse.

Note that using a spousal RRSP is different from pension income splitting, which can only happen from a RRIF after age 65. Under pension income splitting, you can allocate up to 50% of your eligible pension income to your spouse or common-law partner.

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