Transfer rules for a simplified pension plan (SIPP)

The following rules apply to transfers from a simplified pension plan (SIPP).

When can transfers be made?

Locked-in account

It is possible to transfer all or a part of the sums credited to the locked-in account as of age 55, even if the member is still an active member of the plan or still employed.

However, the entire balance of the sums credited to the account must be transferred when active membership ends. The transfer must be made within 90 days after the date on which the statement of the end of active membership is sent.

Not locked-in account

With a few exceptions, it is possible to transfer a part or all of the sums credited to the not locked-in account at any time, even if the member is still an active member of the plan or still employed.

Exceptions for the transfer of member contributions

It is possible that member contributions will not be able to be transferred before the member turns 55 or before the end of the member's active membership (whichever comes first). However, all or part of the contributions can be transferred to set up a Home Buyers Plan (HBP) or a Lifelong Learning Plan (LLP).

In all cases, the entire balance of the sums credited to the account must be transferred when active membership ends. The transfer must be made within 90 days after the date on which the statement of the end of active membership is sent.

Statement

Once the financial institution has been informed that the member's active membership has ended, the institution has 60 days to send a statement. The statement includes information on the balance of the sums credited to the locked-in and not locked-in accounts.

To whom is an application for transfer made?

An application for transfer must be made to the financial institution that administers the SIPP.

The financial institution's address and the contact information of a plan contact person who can provide more information is shown on the statement of cessation of active membership. That information is also available by using online service Plans supervised by Retraite Québec.

What instruments can receive a transfer from an SIPP?

The member chooses the destination of a transfer of the sums credited to his or her accounts.

The following choices are available:

  • a locked-in retirement account (LIRA)
  • a life income fund (LIF)
  • a life annuity contract (deferred or immediate) purchased from an insurer
  • the supplemental pension plan sponsored by the new employer, if that plan accepts transfers
  • an RRSP or a registered retirement income fund (RRIF), for sums that can be refunded

In what circumstances can a member receive a cash payment (refund)?

In some situations, the member is entitled to a cash payment (refund).

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