LIRA: Locked-in retirement account
A LIRA is an account that allows you to transfer the assets accrued in an employer-sponsored retirement plan or pension fund when you change jobs.
Key features of a LIRA
A LIRA is an account that allows you to transfer the assets accrued in an employer-sponsored retirement plan or pension fund into a personal tax-free plan when you change jobs.
You can own a LIRA until December 31 of the year that you turn 71. You must then convert your LIRA into a life income fund (LIF)1.
As a rule, the money is locked in until retirement, and no additional contributions and no withdrawals can be made except in extraordinary circumstances (death, shortened life expectancy or non-resident of Canada for two years). If you wish to withdraw funds from your LIRA, you must first convert it into a LIF or a life annuity.
Unlike an RRSP, for which you can designate the beneficiaries after you die, a LIRA is automatically transferred to your partner2.
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1. LIFs are subject to applicable provincial and federal laws in the jurisdiction in which the income fund has been established.
2. Visit the Retraite Québec website for the definition of “partner” that applies to LIRA.