By Sheryl Smolkin
It’s only February 11th and it feels like personal finance writers should have run out of things to say about RRSPs by now, but somehow they still find more to write about.
One of the more interesting things I came across this week was the results of a BMO survey that reported 69% of Canadians expect the Canada Pension Plan (or Quebec Pension Plan) to cover their retirement costs with nearly one-third, planning to “rely heavily” on it. This is despite the fact that CPP has an average monthly payout of less than $600 a month! And many people are also pegging their hopes on an inheritance or a lottery win to fund their golden years.
Well, someone once told me that lotteries are “a tax on the statistically challenged,” so you should probably take careful note of Brenda Spiering’s blog on brighterlife.ca discussing how much you can contribute to an RRSP.
The annual maximum contribution for 2013 is the lesser of $23,820 and 18% of your earned income for the previous year. But you may also have unused contribution room from previous years that has been carried forward and you can over-contribute up to $2,000 without a penalty.
But don’t forget to save some RRSP contribution room to make your $2,500 maximum Saskatchewan Pension Plan contribution.
Also, check out Gail Vaz-Oxlade’s interesting 2014 RRSP Update. Did you know that kids CAN have an RRSP although they can’t have a Tax-free Savings Account until they’re 18? If a child contributes when she doesn’t have to pay any tax, don’t claim the deduction. Hold it for later when her income and her tax rate go up so she gets a bigger bang for her buck.
On moneysmartsblog.com Mike Holman pokes a few holes in the RRSP Myth that an RRSP is only advantageous if your marginal tax rate in retirement is lower than your marginal tax rate when contributing.
He gives examples to show that when you make a contribution to an RRSP the tax deferred from RRSP contributions is calculated at your marginal tax rate (or close to it, if your RRSP contributions span more than one tax bracket). However, when you withdraw money from your RRSP or RRIF – the tax is calculated using your average tax rate (after other income sources such as pensions) which is typically lower.
Finally on retirehappy.ca, blogger Scott Wallace weighs in on the new Pooled Pension Plans to be offered by the federal government and some provinces such as Quebec and Saskatchewan. PRPPs are intended to provide a savings vehicle for small business or self- employed people who don’t have access to larger pension plans..
Scott says the industry already has low cost Group RRSPs and DC pension plans. And of course my readers already know that SPP allows employers to set up an easy, no-cost workplace plan. That’s why I agree with Scott that the real issue is not creating new kinds of retirement savings accounts but finding ways to make more people save!
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