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Self-Directed RSP & RIF

Self-Directed RSPs & RIFs give you the freedom to build and manage your own investment portfolio.

Self-Directed RSP & RIF

The freedom to build and manage your own
investment portfolio by buying and selling a
wide variety of investments.

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Self-Directed RSP & RIF

A Self-Directed RSP (SDRSP) is a great way to save for retirement. It gives you the freedom to build and manage your own investment portfolio by buying and selling a wide variety of investments. And with this plan, your investments are tax-deferred. You'll receive monthly reporting plus complete administration and safekeeping. We also offer you the ability to open a US$ component of an SDRSP plan which will allow you to hold U.S. securities and settle trades in U.S. dollars.

Retirement Income Funds (RIFs) are a convenient and flexible way to defer tax on retirement savings and maintain the purchasing power of your retirement income in later years. You can transfer savings from any number of RSPs into your Self-Directed RIF and exercise more control over the way your income is paid.

Who is it for?

A Self-Directed RSP & RIF might be a good choice for you if…

  • You have the time and the knowledge to manage your own investments
  • You already have a large deposit-based RSP and now wish to diversify your investments
  • You already hold investment securities (e.g., stocks, bonds, etc.) which you now wish to put in a tax-deferred plan
  • You want the convenience of one simple statement

With a Self-Directed RSP you have the opportunity to tailor your portfolio. Your plan is administered by TD Waterhouse Canada Inc., which charges an annual administration fee of $100.00 plus GST or HST. If you maintain a minimum balance of $25,000 in your account, you won’t pay an administration fee.


The TD Direct investing Basic RSP* is a low-cost, self-directed plan designed to meet the needs of investors who want to hold popular registered plan investments. However, you cannot hold equities, options or mortgages in the Basic RSP.

Your Basic RSP plan is administered by TD Waterhouse Canada Inc., which charges an annual administration fee of only $25 + GST or HST.

Maintain a minimum balance of $25,000 in your account and don't pay an administration fee. Waiver not applicable to clients electing to pay administration fee from outside their registered account.

* Refers to the TD Waterhouse Self-Directed Retirement Savings Plan.

Monthly Contribution Plan

The Monthly Contribution Plan allows you to make contributions to your Self-Directed RSP (SDRSP) by direct debit from a bank account, on a monthly basis. There is no additional charge. Regular plan administration fees apply.

Contributions can be debited from your chequing account. A void cheque must be submitted. Savings accounts cannot be used for this plan. Set-up requires the completion of the Self-Directed RSP Monthly Contribution plan authorization form, which is included with your Welcome Package; the form (#595680) is also available separately in our self service forms and applications library.

Changes or cancellations to the plan can be made by requesting a change with a TD Direct Investing Investment Representative at least 48 hours prior to the contribution withdrawal.


Tax Planning with Spousal Plans

Spousal plans can be set up to split income to reduce on taxes in your retirement years. The contributing spouse or partner is usually the higher income earner. RSP assets are shifted into the hands of the lower income earner so that, at retirement, the income from the plan is taxed at a lower marginal rate, resulting in tax savings.

Spousal plans can also be used by a spouse or partner over the age of 71 who can no longer contribute to their own RSP. You can make contributions to your spouse or partner’s plan, who is aged 71 or younger, to tax-defer eligible income. The spouse or partner is named as a spousal contributor to a plan set up in the name of the annuitant. The beneficial owner of the plan is the annuitant. Common-law partners also qualify for spousal plans.

Contributions to a Spousal Plan

The spousal contributor is allowed to contribute to the plan, all or part, of their own contribution limit amount.

If the annuitant is entitled to make a contribution to an RSP, they may also make tax-deductible contributions to the spousal plan, but it may be preferable to set up separate plans. Contributions must be clearly designated as spousal or non-spousal in order to receive accurate tax receipts.

Spousal contributions can be made from a joint bank account or a TD Direct Investing non-registered trading account by contacting a TD Direct Investing Investment Representative. Online contributions made to a spousal plan through EasyWeb or WebBroker are designated as non-spousal and the contribution receipt is issued in the name of the plan holder.

Withdrawals from a Spousal Plan

Income Tax regulations specify a "holding" period for withdrawals in the name of the annuitant.

Withdrawals from a spousal plan are taxable in the hands of the contributing spouse or partner, to the extent that the contributions were made by the spousal contributor in the current year, and in the two (2) calendar years preceding the year of withdrawal. TD Direct Investing follows the industry standard with respect to administering withdrawals from spousal plans, and attributes all withdrawals to the spousal plan, regardless of who made the contribution.

If the withdrawal qualifies for attribution to the annuitant under the 3-year hold rule, it is the responsibility of the client to prove to Canada Revenue Agency that the spouse or partner contributor did not make the contribution.