Follow these six steps to open a Registered Retirement Savings Plan (RRSP) account:
1. Learn about different RRSP investments. Look for investments that fit your goals, your tolerance for risk, and the time you have to invest.
Tip: While you are deciding, put the money you want to invest into a daily interest savings account. Your money will be safe and earn some interest until you decide what to do.
2. Start shopping. Talk to some banks or companies where you may want to open your RRSP. The person who helps you will be your adviser while you set up your RRSP. Ask about the different RRSP accounts they have. What are the fees for each option?
3. Choose your RRSP at the financial institution you prefer. If you do not have an account there already, you will need to provide two pieces of proper identification (ID) to open an RRSP account. At least one ID must be from the government.
Tip: To see a list of acceptable ID, read about on the Financial Consumer Agency of Canada website.
4 . Fill out and sign the application form. You will be asked questions such as:
- How much do you know about investing?
- What are your investment goals?
- How much money did you make last year? (They need to know this because it affects how much money you can put in your RRSP account.)
- Do you have a pension plan at work? (This also affects how much you can put in.)
- Who is your beneficiary? (This is the person you want to have the money if you die.)
5. Open the account and put in your money. If you are opening a self-directed RRSP, you don't have to decide how to invest your money right away. Instead, leave it in cash. It will be safe and earn some interest until you decide what to do.
6. Keep a copy of all the forms for your RRSP and your investments. You will get official receipts for the money you put into your RRSP account. These are often mailed out in January and February. Use the official receipts when you do your tax return.
Remember: Opening an RRSP is an important step for your financial future
Take time to get it right. Also, don't open an account and forget about it. Always watch your investments so you can make changes when you need to.
Content in this section is provided in partnership with the Investor Education Fund, a non-profit organization promoting financial literacy to Canadians. To find out more go to GetSmarterAboutMoney.ca.