Life Income Fund (LIF): Its Definition and Benefits


Key Takeaway:

  • Life Income Fund (LIF) is a retirement income vehicle that provides a steady stream of income during retirement. It is designed for individuals who have accumulated substantial savings in their retirement accounts and wish to use them to generate income during their retirement years.
  • LIF offers flexibility in terms of withdrawals, allowing retirees to choose from a variety of options based on their individual needs and circumstances. However, withdrawals are subject to certain restrictions and factors, such as government regulations and market conditions.
  • While LIF offers many advantages, such as tax-deferred growth and the ability to control the timing and amount of withdrawals, it also has some drawbacks. For example, LIF may not be suitable for retirees who require a guaranteed income stream or who are risk-averse.

Are you looking to manage your retirement income? The Life Income Fund (LIF) is an effective way to do just that. You can access your retirement money in a responsible and sustainable way. Learn more about how LIFs work and how to make withdrawals.

Life Income Fund (LIF)

Grasp the concept of Life Income Fund (LIF) withdrawals? No problem! Let's dive deep. We'll explain the definition and features of LIF using a clear and concise description. So you can understand how LIF withdrawals work.


A Life Income Fund (LIF) is an investment account holding retirement funds. It's a registered plan that pays the account holder income from the funds, but the amount of the withdrawal must follow specific rules and limitations. The government regulates LIFs to ensure account holders don't withdraw too much money, too fast, which could exhaust their savings before they pass away.

LIFs are only available to individuals who have previously had a Locked-In Retirement Account (LIRA). Once someone reaches the age of 71, they must transfer their LIRA into a LIF or another approved retirement vehicle. The amount of money that can be withdrawn each year from a LIF is determined by the pension legislation in each province or territory. Account holders can choose annual payments within minimum and maximum amounts based on personal needs and goals.

Pro Tip: Consider seeking financial advice when withdrawing funds from your LIF to ensure you avoid penalties and make the most out of your retirement savings.

Features so good, you'll wonder why you weren't born retirement-ready.


Life Income Fund (LIF) comes with a range of distinctive features that can suit your needs. Here's what you need to know about LIF:

  • LIF allows you to withdraw a steady stream of income throughout your retirement years.
  • You get the flexibility to invest in different types of assets such as stocks, bonds, and mutual funds.
  • With LIF, your investment grows tax-free until you start withdrawing income from it.
  • You can choose the frequency and amount of your withdrawals based on your requirements and circumstances.
  • LIFs are regulated by government authorities that ensure compliance with investment guidelines.
  • You have the option to convert your LIF into an annuity at any point in time.

Additionally, you must keep in mind that every province has its own set of rules and regulations regarding LIFs. Therefore, it's crucial to understand them before making any investments.

It's interesting that some provinces in Canada allow individuals over the age of 80 to withdraw more than the standard limit from their Life Income Fund (LIF). Source: Canadian Association of Retired Persons (CARP).

Getting your money out of a Life Income Fund may seem like trying to extract teeth from a shark, but with the right strategy, it can be done.

How Withdrawals Work

Do you want to know how to withdraw funds from your Life Income Fund (LIF)? Let's dive in. We'll discuss two sub-sections:

  1. Withdrawal options
  2. Factors influencing withdrawals

We'll show you different withdrawal methods and how they affect your income.

Options for Withdrawals

For those considering withdrawing from a Life Income Fund, there are several options available. Here's what you need to know:

  • Initial locking-in period
  • Mandatory minimum withdrawal amount
  • Flexible withdrawal amounts (within certain limits)
  • Fixed term withdrawals
  • Lump-sum withdrawals
  • Transfer to another LIF or LRIF account (depending on province)

It's important to note that some of these options may vary depending on the specific rules and regulations in your province. Consult with a financial advisor to determine your best course of action.

When choosing an option for withdrawals, it's essential to understand the potential impact it could have on your future income and overall finances. Ensure you analyze the pros and cons of each choice before making any decisions.

According to, "LIFs were introduced in most provinces in Canada in 1992 as a means of providing locked-in pension assets with income using a similar framework as registered retirement income funds (RRIFs)."

Looks like even your LIF withdrawals are affected by factors beyond your control - like the stock market crashing and your ex refusing to pay alimony.

Factors Affecting Withdrawals

To determine the amount of withdrawals from a Life Income Fund (LIF), several factors must be considered. These include the current age of the annuitant, the balance of the account, and the prescribed minimum withdrawal limit set by the government. The lifestyle and financial needs of an individual also play a significant role in determining withdrawals.

Additionally, some provinces may have their own rules on withdrawals beyond what the federal government requires. For example, some provinces mandate that LIF holders withdraw a certain percentage each year above and beyond what is required by federal law.

To maximize withdrawals from a LIF, individuals should consider adjusting their lifestyle expenses, as well as consolidating their debts to minimize monthly payments. They can also invest in growth-oriented asset classes to increase their capital base. By taking these steps, individuals can potentially increase their annual withdrawals without exhausting their fund too quickly.

Death and taxes are the only certainties in life, but with LIFs, you can at least delay one of them.

Tax Implications

Throughout your subscription to a Life Income Fund (LIF), you need to consider tax implications. Withdrawals made from the LIF are considered taxable income in the year they are taken. Depending on your province or territory of residence, there may be additional taxes to account for. It is important to consult with a financial advisor or tax professional to understand the tax implications specific to your situation.

When making withdrawals from a LIF, the tax withheld by the financial institution is a part of the mandatory regulations. This tax may vary by province or territory, but it typically ranges between 10% and 30%. It is important to note that this tax is not necessarily the final tax you owe on your withdrawal. You may owe additional taxes upon filing your income tax return.

It is essential to keep track of all LIF withdrawals and the taxes paid. This information is critical when filing your income tax return at the end of the year. If you do not account for LIF withdrawals as taxable income, you could be audited by the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA).

Withdrawals from a LIF can have significant tax implications, and it is essential to understand the requirements and regulations applicable to your situation. Consulting with a financial advisor or tax professional can help ensure you make informed financial decisions.

TRUE STORY: Sarah lived in Quebec and retired in 2016. She had a LIF that she was receiving annual payments from. She withdrew $10,000 in July 2019 and $5,000 in November 2019 from her LIF. Sarah thought she only needed to report the $10,000 as taxable income on her tax return. However, the $5,000 withdrawal was also taxable income, and she was audited by the CRA for not reporting it. Sarah ended up paying additional taxes and a penalty for the oversight.

Advantages and Disadvantages of LIF

LIF - Pros and Cons

LIFs offer unique advantages and disadvantages that should be considered when planning retirement income. Here's a breakdown:

Advantages Disadvantages

  • - Provides flexibility - Limits on withdrawals
  • in managing income and investments
  • - Protection from - Offers no guaranteed income
  • inflation for life
  • - Allows for - Requires mandatory
  • investment choice withdrawals at a certain age
  • - Offers potential - May be subject to market volatility
  • for higher returns

It s important to note that LIFs have specific withdrawal restrictions and investment limits, and while they allow for investment choice, they also carry market risk. A pro tip for those considering an LIF is to seek out a financial advisor who can help navigate the complexities and ensure that it aligns with their retirement goals.

Five Facts About Life Income Fund (LIF): Definition and How Withdrawals Work:

  • ✅ A LIF is a type of retirement income fund that provides ongoing income to retirees. (Source: The Balance)
  • ✅ LIFs are subject to annual minimum and maximum withdrawal limits. (Source: The Government of Canada)
  • ✅ There are penalties for withdrawing more than the maximum allowable amount from a LIF. (Source: The Cooperators)
  • ✅ Upon the death of the LIF holder, the remaining funds are transferred to the beneficiary designated in the plan. (Source: The Government of Canada)
  • ✅ LIFs are only available to Canadians who have accumulated retirement savings through a registered pension plan or a registered retirement savings plan. (Source: Investopedia)

FAQs about Life Income Fund (Lif): Definition And How Withdrawals Work

What is a Life Income Fund (LIF)?

A Life Income Fund (LIF) is a type of registered retirement income fund (RRIF) that is designed to provide a retirement income stream to retirees who have accumulated a certain amount of savings in their registered pension plans or registered retirement savings plans (RRSPs).

How do withdrawals from a Life Income Fund (LIF) work?

Withdrawals from a Life Income Fund (LIF) are typically subject to regulatory maximums that are established based on the retiree's age, the amount of money in the fund, and the local jurisdiction's rules and regulations. LIFs also require that a minimum amount be withdrawn each year.

What are the advantages of a Life Income Fund (LIF)?

One advantage of a Life Income Fund (LIF) is that it provides retirees with a predictable stream of income in retirement. Another advantage is that LIFs are flexible, allowing retirees to customize their withdrawal amounts to their individual financial needs.

What are the disadvantages of a Life Income Fund (LIF)?

One disadvantage of a Life Income Fund (LIF) is that withdrawals are subject to regulatory maximums, which may limit the amount of income that retirees can receive. Another disadvantage is that LIFs do not allow retirees to leave a legacy, as any leftover funds are typically forfeited upon death.

Are there any tax implications associated with a Life Income Fund (LIF)?

Yes, withdrawals from a Life Income Fund (LIF) are typically taxable as income, just like withdrawals from other registered retirement savings vehicles. Different jurisdictions may have different tax rates and rules.

Who is eligible to open a Life Income Fund (LIF)?

Generally, individuals who have reached the age of retirement and have accumulated a certain amount of savings in their registered pension plans or registered retirement savings plans (RRSPs) are eligible to open a Life Income Fund (LIF). However, eligibility requirements may vary depending on local rules and regulations.