When married people separate, does each person get to keep all of the Registered Retirement Savings Plans in their respective name?

January 4, 2017

When married people separate, does each person get to keep all of the Registered Retirement Savings Plans in their respective name?

 

a. Yes

b. No

 

Correct Answer: b. No. There is no automatic provision that says that people who were married get to keep RRSPS in their own name. There is a process of review which involves looking at what amount, if any, was in the plans on the date of marriage, what amounts have been put in afterwards, what has been the accumulation if any, since separation. The parties are to use these figures as part of their equalization calculations, which involves adding up all of the assets and all of the expenses or negatives of the parties on the date of separation. It may be that in the end, there is an agreement to equalize RRSPs, as accumulated during the marriage, by inter-spousal transfer which is not taxable.

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