Opting for a pension instead of asking for the entire amount against your retirement benefits is the best way for supplementing your retirement income. Many times you need the funds because of financial hardships. You may need to unlock the pension because of decreased income, loss of job or for paying off the debts. It may compel you to withdrawal of money from the locked-in account and get it transferred to RRSP that may be accessed at later stages without any hurdles. It is better to seek assistance from the reliable financial advisors to take a viable decision whether or not to go for unlocking a pension. Also introduced as Locked-in Retirement Accounts [LIRA] or Locked-in RRSP, the locked-in pension individuals can have access to their own funds by meeting certain criteria. Those in hard need of money are usually eligible for access to certain part of their locked-in pension funds.
- Financial problems – It is usually the financial constraints that compel us to have access to our locked-in-pension funds. It could be low expected income in the forthcoming period of one year, payment of the first and last month’s rent, medical expenses or the arrears of rent or mortgage.
- Unlocking 50% through transfer – You may be able to transfer your locked-in pension fund to a Life Income Fund in case you are at least fifty five years old or at the age where you could otherwise be eligible for a pension from the originating plan for pension. Remember, a one-time withdrawal equal to fifty percent of this LIF can be made after transfer to this account. It can be used as income or transfer to the unlocked investment account, e.g. the RRSP.
- Small Pension amount after 55th years of age – Application for unlocking a pension can be moved by the individuals that cross the fiftieth year of their age. This is subject to the condition that the total of the locked-in pension should be less than $21,000 or the prescribed amount since prescribed by the concerned states.
- Non-residents: A pension can be unlocked by the non-residents of Canada that have passed twenty four months since the date of their departure from the country.
- Decreased life expectancy – Persons with shortened life expectancy of two years or less than that may apply for unlocking their pensions.
Just think of the downsides of pension-unlocking before opting for the same. Your retirement income may go down heavily. Penalties for early raising of pension, loss of guaranteed benefits / future guaranteed income, taxation on the income, loss of benefits in respect of your partner or the offspring, loss of health benefits and the costs for unlocking a pension could be some of the financial burdens upon the guys that opt for pension-unlocking. Candidly, pension is the safe option from the creditors in the event of bankruptcy while the cash in the bank is prone to instant withdrawals. As such do approach a financial advisor that may render a good piece of advice whether to go in for pension-unlocking or not.