Institute Suggests Canadian Pension Changes

April 23, 2010 ( – Canadians should be able to decide when they begin withdrawing money from their retirement accounts to give them flexibility to work longer and accumulate more retirement savings.

That was one of a series of recommendations offered in a new report by the BMO Retirement Institute, according to a CBC news report.  Under the current rules Canadians must convert their Registered Retirement Savings Plans (RRSPs) at age 71.

BMO is also calling for tax breaks on withdrawals from registered retirement income funds, asserting that investment returns should be taxed at the same rate as investment income from outside registered plans.The report also suggests an increase in the maximum contribution limit for RRSPs.

“BMO’s view is that the personal savings component cannot be ignored when looking at how we can improve the current pension regime,” said Tina Di Vito, head of the BMO Retirement Institute, in the CBC story. “Improvements can be made to the current system. We believe these proposals, if adopted, would make for a healthier and more tax-efficient pension regime.”

An executive summary of the report is here