Provincial legislation and, to a greater extent, statutory interpretation dictates the effectiveness of RRSP and RRIF beneficiary designations. While common law provincial laws outline the legal requirements for making and revoking beneficiary designations under RRSP and RRIF plans, there are important variations. It is important to understand provincial requirements for designating a beneficiary, and perhaps more importantly, revoking a prior designation. One cannot assume the legislation will be interpreted in the same manner by the courts in each province.

Topics covered in this report include:

  • Method of Designating a Beneficiary
    • By instrument or will
    • In accordance with the plan
  • Method of Revoking a Beneficiary

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This publication has been translated into French.

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