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A RRIF is a tax-deferred account that provides owners (annuitants) a source of retirement income. It generates income from the savings accumulated under an RRSP or a registered pension plan.
You can only transfer property to a RRIF from an RRSP, a registered pension plan or from another RRIF. A RRIF is one of the choices available when you pick a retirement income option for your RRSP. In addition to a RRIF, you can also choose a taxable cash withdrawal, a registered annuity or any combination of these.
One of the most common options is to transfer your RRSP to a RRIF. This lets you benefit from continued tax deferral on the growth of your RRSP assets.
You can establish a RRIF anytime, but no later than the year you turn 71. Once you establish a RRIF, minimum annual payments must start coming out the next year.