You can make Spousal RRSP Contributions after Age 71

It is still possible to make RRSP contributions after the year in which you turn 71 – just not to your OWN RRSP. If you have a spouse or common-law partner who is younger than you, then you can contribute to a Spousal RRSP set up in their name. This allows you to claim a deduction on your tax return and reduce your tax bill.

Senior_citizens_free.jpgClick here to read about Spousal RRSP’s in more detail.

There are a few catches of course. You must have RRSP contribution room in order to make an RRSP or a Spousal RRSP contribution – and this is generally harder and harder to come by when you are over 71 as you are most likely retired by now. BUT – so long as you generate EARNED income, you generate RRSP contribution room. So, if you work as a part-time consultant and earn salary, commission, etc., then you can generate RRSP contribution room – even in retirement.

To sum it up: you can still generate RRSP contribution room after you turn 71 – you just can’t use that contribution room to contribute to your own RRSP.

The other “catch” is that your spouse or common-law partner must be 71 or younger, as the contribution must be made to their Spousal RRSP. Spousal RRSP’s have to be matured by December 31st of the the year one turns 71 (just like with an individual RRSP).

A final note: if you have unused RRSP contributions carried forward from previous years before you matured your RRSP, you can indeed also use them to make a spousal RRSP contribution after you have matured your own RRSP. The same restrictions apply as above.

Preet Banerjee
Preet Banerjee an independent consultant to the financial services industry and a personal finance commentator. You can learn more about Preet at his personal website and you can click here to follow him on Twitter.
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