Transfer of a retiring allowance

Employees with years of service before 1996 may be able to directly transfer all or part of a retiring allowance to a registered pension plan (RPP) or a registered retirement savings plan (RRSP). This part is commonly referred to as the eligible portion or the amount eligible for transfer. A retiring allowance may include an eligible portion and a non-eligible portion.

A retiring allowance may be paid over one or more years. The amounts paid in any particular year may be transferred to an RRSP or an RPP. The amounts transferred cannot exceed the employee’s eligible portion of the retiring allowance minus the eligible portion you transferred in a prior year.

For example, if an employee receives $60,000 payable in instalments of $10,000 over 6 years and has an eligible amount of $40,000, the employee can choose how they want the eligible and non-eligible portions applied to the instalment payments in each year.

The amount that is eligible for transfer under paragraph 60(j.1) of the Income Tax Act (the Act) is limited to:

  • $2,000 for each year or part of a year before 1996 that the employee or former employee worked for you (or a person related to you); plus
  • $1,500 for each year or part of a year before 1989 of that employment in which none of your contributions to the RPP or deferred profit sharing plan (DPSP) were vested in the employee’s name when you paid the retiring allowance. To determine the equivalent number of years of vesting, refer to the terms of the particular plan. The number can be a fraction.

Paragraph 60(j.1) of the Act says that you can only transfer the eligible portion of the retiring allowance to the employee’s own RRSP or to an RPP under which your employee is the annuitant. You cannot transfer the eligible portion directly to a spousal or common-law partner’s RRSP or RPP. If you transfer the amount to an RPP, you may have to report a pension adjustment. For more information, contact your plan administrator.

If your employee does not want to transfer all or any of the eligible amount into his or her own RRSP or RPP, he or she may transfer it to a spousal or common-law partner’s RRSP, up to the employee’s available contribution room.

Your employee may also ask you to transfer some or all of the non-eligible portion of the retiring allowance to his or her RRSP, or to a spousal or common-law partner’s RRSP. The non-eligible portion of a retiring allowance is the amount that exceeds the amount eligible for direct transfer. The part that you transfer cannot be more than the employee’s available RRSP deduction limit for the year.

You do not have to deduct income tax on the amount of the eligible retiring allowance that is transferred directly to an employee’s RRSP or to an RPP on behalf of the employee. You also do not have to deduct income tax on any part of the retiring allowance that your employee transfers to a spousal or common-law partner’s RRSP if you have reasonable grounds to believe your employee can deduct the RRSP contribution when filing his or her income tax and benefit return. For more information, see "RRSP contributions you withhold from remuneration" in Chapter 5 of Guide T4001, Employers' Guide - Payroll Deductions and Remittances.

The part of the retiring allowance paid in each year that is eligible for transfer should be reported on a T4 slip in the "Other information" area, using code 66 (or code 68 for an Indian). Amounts not eligible for transfer are reported in the "Other information" area using code 67 (or code 69 for an Indian). For example, if an employee receives $60,000 payable in instalments of $10,000 over six years and has an eligible amount of $40,000, the employee can choose how they want the eligible and non-eligible parts applied to the instalment payments in each year.

Note

The amounts reported as retiring allowances should not be reported in box 14. For more information, see Code 66 - Eligible retiring allowances.

Examples

To demonstrate how to calculate the amount of retiring allowance eligible for transfer and to give you an example as to how to calculate an amount of remuneration subject to income tax deductions, see Examples - Retiring allowance calculations.