RRSP Tips and Deadlines

Curtis HaighBlog


RRSP Season is here, as financial advisors prepare for another busy season, I wanted to give YOU some important information on RRSP’s, limits; and deadlines to help prepare you to make your investment decisions a bit easier.  The RRSP deadline for tax year 2014 is March 2nd 2015.  If you are looking to reduce your income tax payable (subject to the below conditions), please book an appointment before March 2nd.

RRSP contribution room is based on “earned income”.  Generally speaking, earned income includes a taxpayer’s income (earned while the taxpayer was resident in Canada) from the following:

  • income from office or employment reported on a T4 slip (line 101 of the tax return)
  • other employment income (line 104) – this includes foreign employment income, which must be reported in Canadian dollars.
  • Employment income on a US W-2 slip may have been reduced by contributions to a “401(k), 457 or 403(b) plan, US Medicare and Federal Insurance Contributions Act (FICA)”.  These amounts must be added to foreign employment income on line 104.  However, based on the Fifth Protocol to the Canada – U.S. Income Tax Treaty (Article XVIII), starting with the 2009 tax year, these amounts may be deductible on line 207 of your tax return.
  • income (less loss) from a business carried on by the taxpayer, either alone or as a partner actively engaged in the business
  • income (less loss) from rental of real property
  • royalty income regarding a work or invention of which the taxpayer was the author or inventor
  • taxable support payments received
  • CPP or provincial disability pension income
  • amounts received under a supplementary unemployment benefit plan (not federal Employment Insurance)
  • less deductible support payments made

The maximum RRSP contribution amount that can be deducted  is called the “RRSP deduction limit”, and is also known as “contribution room” or “deduction room”.  Your deduction limit is found on your Notice of Assessment or Notice of Reassessment from Canada Revenue Agency (CRA).  Your 2014 limit would be on your 2013 Notice.  The deduction limit is calculated as:

  • 18% of “earned income” for the preceding year, to an annual maximum (see following table)
  • less the “pension adjustment” amount, for participants in a Registered Pension Plan (RPP) or Deferred Profit Sharing Plan (DPSP)
  • less any “past service pension adjustment”, for participants in a RPP or DPSP
  • plus any “past service pension adjustment” reversals
  • plus unused deduction room carried forward from the previous year

The annual limits for RRSPs, money purchase (defined contribution) RPPs,  deferred profit sharing plans (DPSPs), and defined benefit RPPs are: (*source, taxtips.ca)


Annual Contribution Limits

Defined Benefit
RPPs – Max Pension
Benefit per
Year of Service
RRSPs Money
Purchase (MP)
2005 $16,500 $18,000 $9,000 $2,000.00
2006 $18,000 $19,000 $9,500 $2,111.11
2007 $19,000 $20,000 $10,000 $2,222.22
2008 $20,000 $21,000 $10,500 $2,333.33
2009 $21,000 $22,000 $11,000 $2,444.44
2010 $22,000 $22,450 $11,225 $2,494.44
2011 $22,450 $22,970 $11,485 $2,552.22
2012 $22,970 $23,820 $11,910 $2,646.67
2013 $23,820 $24,270 $12,135 $2,696.67
2014 $24,270 $24,930 $12,465 $2,770.00
2015 $24,930 $25,370 $12,685 $2,818.89
2016 $25,370 indexed 1/2 the MP limit 1/9 the MP limit