Disability, your locked-in retirement account and your life income fund

You have an LIRA

If you are deemed to be disabled, you are entitled to a refund of your locked-in retirement account (LIRA).

To obtain a refund, you must provide the financial institution with a medical certificate stating that you are disabled due to a physical or mental condition that reduces your life expectancy.

The refund can be made as a lump-sum payment or in several payments.

You can also transfer your LIRA to a registered retirement savings plan (RRSP). For details, consult the Canada Revenue Agency This link will open in a new window..

You are entitled to a refund or transfer even if your investments have not yet matured. However, there may be penalties.

The medical certificate

The medical certificate must be issued by a physician who is a member of the Collège des médecins du Québec This link will open in a new window. or, if the physician is outside Québec, he or she must be a member of an equivalent body.

The medical certificate does not have to mention the diagnosis or your actual life expectancy. It merely has to state that you are disabled due to a medical condition reduces your life expectancy. The certificate can be a letter signed by your physician. An example follows.

2 January 2018

Mr. Charlie Bailey
7878 Street Avenue
Quebec City, Quebec
G1J 9N9

Subject: Medical certificate

Dear Mr. Bailey,

I hereby confirm that you are disabled due to a medical condition that reduces your life expectancy.

Signature :
Dr. Smith, M. D.
Your Medical Clinic
9696 Your Street
Quebec City, Quebec
G1H 2J3

You have an LIF

Your life income fund (LIF) does not have provisions for disability. However, an LIRA does. To take advantage of those provisions, you must transfer your LIF to an LIRA before the end of the year in which you turn 71.

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