Locked-in Retirement Account (LIRA)
A Locked-in Retirement Account (LIRA) is a type of registered account where the investment funds originated from a pension plan. A LIRA does have some similarities to an RRSP account, but it also has a couple big differences too:
- LIRAs hold funds that originated from pension money, whereas RRSPs comprise funds that you have contributed on your own. Because Locked-In Retirement Accounts hold pension money, you cannot just contribute funds to a LIRA. The money can only be transferred into a LIRA from a pension.
- With RRSPs, you can withdraw funds whenever you want, and there are no restrictions on the amount of money you can take out (although cashing out your RRSP is not always ideal from a taxation standpoint). With LIRAs though there are restrictions and you are unable to withdraw funds from it.
Once you are ready to start taking your retirement income withdrawals from your LIRA it must first then be converted into a Life Income Fund (LIF) or a Life Annuity, where you can then start taking an income stream.