Self-directed RRSPs

If you want to, you can control the assets of your RRSP and make the investment decisions yourself.

Your financial institution can tell you if it offers self-directed RRSPs. The issuer (such as a bank, credit union, trust, or insurance company) can take care of the administrative details, including getting the plan registered, receiving the amounts you contribute, and trading securities. Securities cannot be held in your own name.

Qualified investments

Common types of qualified investments for a trust governed by an RRSP or RRIF include:

  • money;
  • guaranteed investment certificates;
  • government and corporate bonds;
  • mutual funds; and
  • securities listed on a designated stock exchange.

For more information, see Interpretation Bulletin IT-320R, Qualified Investments – Trusts Governed by Registered Retirement Savings Plans, Registered Education Savings Plans and Registered Retirement Income Funds, or contact your RRSP issuer.

You should pay particular attention to the type of investments you choose for the plan. If you buy non-qualified investments in your RRSP or RRIF, or if qualified investments held in your RRSP or RRIF become non-qualified, there are tax implications.

Enhancements were made to the existing tax rules that apply when an RRSP or a RRIF acquires a non-qualified investment. The enhancements also include the introduction of a special tax on the annuitant of an RRSP or a RRIF that acquires a prohibited investment. For more information, go to Anti-avoidance rules for RRSPs and RRIFs.

Forms and publications

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