Meets your savings needs throughout your life (not only after retirement)
Mainly meets retirement needs
Both savings vehicles offer tax advantages
but there are some minor differences between them
Maturity date (termination)
December 31 of the year in which you turn 71 years of age1
Annual contribution limit
Contribution limit as
a % of earned income
No matter how much you earn, the contribution limit is $5,000
18% of earned income
(Subject to the annual contribution limit)
Penalty of 1% per month
Penalty of 1% per month (Up to $2,000 in excess contributions are allowed without penalty)
Unused contribution room carried forward
From year to year
Contribution room restored after withdrawals
Starting the following year
Contribution limit indexed?
According to the Consumer Price index (CPI), rounded to
the nearest $500
Based on the increase in the Average Industrial Wage (AIW)
No, but one spouse can give the other spouse the funds needed for his/her contribution
without being subject to
income attribution rules
Transfer to spouse in the event of relationship breakdown / death?
Tax deductible contributions?
TFSA contributions cannot be deducted from income.
Withdrawals taxable ?
You can withdraw2 funds from your TFSA at any time for any purpose without having to pay tax on the withdrawals.
You can withdraw2 funds from your RRSP at any time for any purpose but you have to pay tax on the withdrawals.
After you convert your
RRSP into a RRIF
Impact on income-tested government retirement benefits and tax credits
(clawback of Old Age Security and Guaranteed Income Supplement)
Does not reduce benefits or tax credits.
May reduce benefits and tax credits
Tax impact in the event of death
If transferred to the spouse. The value of the TFSA is never taxable.
- If the TFSA is left to a person other than your spouse, the TFSA will be terminated and the investments will become non-registered assets.
- The income generated by those non-registered assets will be taxable.
If rolled over to the spouse
1 You have to withdraw the amount accumulated in your RRSP and invest it in a Registered Retirement Income Fund (RRIF) before December 31st of the year in which you turn 71.
2 Subject to the terms and conditions of the selected investments.
The income earned in your TFSA is tax-free, which is not the case for a non-registered account. The table below shows the advantages of a TFSA versus a non-registered account.
You would pay $6,399 less
in taxes with a TFSA
($19,078 - $12,679 = $6,399)
Calculations are for information purposes only: they illustrate the impact of lower taxes payable on TFSA revenue during an investment period under identical conditions. Actual returns on investments may be higher or lower than in this example and will vary according to investment type and time period. The data shown here is for information purposes only and does not create any legal or contractual obligation for National Bank or its subsidiaries.
1 Effective annual rate of return compounded annually thereafter