Transferring RRSP assets to RRIF

I read your Q&A feature regularly, and appreciate the service that you provide. I was wondering if you could answer a question regarding RRIFs.

I have a self-directed RRSP containing several types of laddered bonds. When the RRSP must be transferred to a RRIF at age 69, do the bonds need to be cashed or can they be transferred in kind? Also, can RRIFs be self directed? – S.B.

A – The bonds do not have to be cashed in. All securities in an RRSP can be transferred directly to a RRIF.

It’s just a matter of signing the papers and moving the assets from one registered account to another. And yes, there are self-directed RRIFs. They operate in much the same way as your self-directed RRSP. There are some limitations, for example RRIFs cannot buy labour-sponsored venture capital funds.

However, most securities that are eligible for RRSPs can be held in a self-directed RRIF. – G.P.