What do I need to know about Locked-In Retirement Funds (LIFs)?

Locked-In Retirement Funds (LIFs) are a type of retirement savings account that is offered by financial institutions in Canada. They are similar to Registered Retirement Savings Plans (RRSPs), but have some key differences.

Locked-In Retirement Funds are subject to provincial legislation, which means that there are some differences from province to province. For example, in some provinces you can only have one LIF, while in others you can have multiple LIFs.

The most important difference between LIFs and RRSPs is that you cannot withdraw money from a LIF until you reach a certain age, typically 50 or 55. This age is known as the "preservation age". Once you reach the preservation age, you can start withdrawing money from your LIF, but there are still some restrictions.

The amount of money that you can withdraw from your LIF each year is limited. The amount is calculated using a formula that takes into account your age and the value of your LIF. 

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Always seek advice from your financial planner. If you are a member of one of the BC Public Sector Pensions plans, you can see what the Pension Corporation says about your situation. Their pages provide a detailed summary of your options.