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This FAQ answers some of the most common questions asked about an RRSP or retirement planning. If you have any additional questions send us an email and we would be pleased to help.

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How much can I contribute?

Each year, the government allows you to contribute a specified amount to an RRSP. This is known as your RRSP contribution limit. It's calculated as 18% percent of the amount of income you've earned from the previous year's employment, less the value of your previous year's Pension Adjustment. Your Pension Adjustment is a function of the contribution made to your company pension plan, either by yourself or your employer.

2019 and 2020 contribution limits

The 2019 tax year RRSP contribution limit is 18% of your previous year's earned income to a maximum of $26,500, less the previous year's pension adjustment (PA) plus the current year's pension adjustment reversal (PAR). For the 2020 tax year, the contribution limit is $27,230.

Current and Past
RRSP Contribution Limits
Year Yearly Maximum RRSP Contribution
2017 $26,010
2018 $26,230
2019 $26,500
2020 $27,230

The easy way to find your limit is to check the Notice of Assessment that Canada Revenue Agency sent back to you after you filed your taxes last year.

What is a spousal or common-law partner RRSP?

A spousal or common-law partner RRSP lets you contribute to an RRSP in the name of your spouse or common-law partner and claim that contribution as a deduction against your own taxable income. As long as the total contributions you make to your own and your spousal RRSPs don't exceed your personal RRSP contribution limit, you may contribute as much as you like to a spousal RRSP. This contribution does not affect what your spouse can contribute to his or her own RRSP.

The benefit of the spousal plan is to build two RRSP portfolios of equal value at retirement. This way, at retirement you'll likely pay less tax by regularly withdrawing two smaller incomes from the two plans, instead of one large income from one plan.

Spousal RRSPs are an especially important financial tool when one spouse is not working, has no pension plan or has a significantly smaller income.

Note: If your spouse makes a withdrawal from a spousal RRSP before two complete calendar years have passed since the last contribution was made, you, as the contributor, will be required to include the withdrawn amount, to the extent of the contribution, as your taxable income.

What is a Self-Directed RRSP?

A self-directed RRSP allows you to make your own investment choices, ideally with the help of your financial advisor. In a self-directed RRSP, you may invest in a variety of different types of investments as long as they are approved by Canada Revenue Agency.

What Investments Qualify For Your RRSP?

Qualified investments is the term used for investments that can be held in an RRSP or RRIF. These investments generally include:

  • Canadian dollar savings accounts, guaranteed investment certificates, term deposits
  • shares of Canadian and foreign companies listed on a prescribed stock exchange,
  • shares of some over-the-counter U.S. and Canadian companies
  • shares of some small businesses
  • certain types of bonds and money-market investments, such as treasury bills, Canada Savings Bonds, Government of Canada bonds, provincial government bonds, Crown Corporation bonds, bonds issued by Canadian corporations listed on a prescribed stock exchange, and certain strip bonds
  • certain types of mortgages, including your own
  • certain covered call options, married put option, warrants and rights
  • mutual funds

Non-qualified investments include:

  • Gold and silver bars and other precious metals
  • Real estate
  • Personal property, such as art, antiques and gems

Here is where we can help

We encourage you to get professional advice when managing your RRSP account.

Open or transfer in your RRSP account to GP Wealth Management.

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Educational Information
Benefits of an RRSP Account
  • Up to 46% of your contribution back in a tax refund
  • Tax-Sheltered Growth
  • Flexible Investment Options
  • Tax Savings
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