Registered Retirement Income Fund (RRIF)

RRIF

There are two stages in investing for your retirement; the first stage is accumulating retirement savings, typically in an RRSP. The next stage is to provide retirement income. When it's time to use the money you've accumulated for your retirement years, a Registered Retirement Income Fund (RIF) is an ideal option to provide a regular income stream, while continuing to shelter your investment principal from income tax.

A RRIF is one of the most flexible retirement income options available to Canadians.  You control both the amount and frequency of payments as well as how you invest your money.   

Similar to an RRSP, money held within a RRIF and its earnings remains tax-sheltered until withdrawn.  You have complete control over how you invest those funds, the income earned on the investements grow tax-free as well.
 
Regarding your retirement income, you can choose a payment of any amount from your RRIF, in any frequency, as long as it is above the minimum annual payment required by the government.  With a RRIF, you have the option of making lump sum cash withdrawals as well. You saved your money to enjoy your retirement; a RRIF gives you that flexibility so go ahead and take that cruise or buy that cottage!

And now a short message from CRA:  all withdrawals from your RRIF are fully taxable; payments from your RRIF must be declared as income for the year in which you receive them.
 
A RRIF is best suited for people who want to make their own decisions (subject to government limitations) regarding retirement income.  A RRIF puts you in control of your investment and the amount of income it pays you!