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LIF Account Types

Life Income Funds (LIF) are a type of locked-in income account, similar to a Registered Retirement Income Fund (RRIF), but with certain restrictions. An LIF account is administered according to the specific pension legislation that governed the original accumulated pension benefit within your former employer’s registered pension plan. It may be governed by any one of the nine individual provincial pension legislation acts or by the federal Pensions Benefit and Standards Act (PBSA). In other words, there are basically two types of LIFs:

  • federally legislated LIFs
  • provincially legislated LIFs

Note: While InvestingForMe provides a general discussion concerning the various aspects of LIFs governed by federal pension legislation, we do not discuss the guidelines for provincially regulated LIFs, as each province maintains its own pension legislation and the differences between each province’s pension legislation are numerous. In addition, changes in provincial pension legislation occur independently and sporadically. For more detailed information regarding the different provincial regulations, weprovide links to the pension administration websites for each of the provincial governments in our section link to Government Pension Websites.

Federally legislated LIFs

The following jurisdictions use federally legislated LIFs under the Pension Benefit Standards Act (PBSA) for their pension funds:

  • Federal Pension Legislation 
  • British Columbia Pension Legislation 
  • Yukon
  • Northwest Territories
  • Nunavut

Provincially legislated LIFs

Those pension benefits that are regulated by provincial pension legislation that govern LIF accounts for pension funds include: 

  • Alberta Pension Legislation
  • Saskatchewan Pension Legislation
  • Manitoba Pension Legislation
  • Ontario Pension Legislation
  • Quebec Pension Legislation
  • Nova Scotia Pension Legislation
  • Prince Edward Island Pension Legislation
  • New Brunswick Pension Legislation
  • Newfoundland Pension Legislation

The following table summarizes the different options based on provincial or federal legislation:



  Life Income Fund (LIF): 

  Life Income Fund (LIF): 


Provincial Legislation

Federal Legislation

 Source of funds: 

 - A provincially registered pension  plan (RPP)

 - A LIRA administered under the  same provincial legislation.

 - Another provincially regulated LIF.

 - A federally registered     pension  plan (RPP)

 - A LRSP regulated under federal  legislation.

 - Another federally regulated LIF.


 - Not Permitted

 - Not Permitted

 Maturity Date: 

 - December 31st of your 71st year

 - December 31st of your 71st year


 - Must withdraw a minimum Annual  amount, per the provincial  schedule.

 - A Maximum Annual Withdrawal  amount, per the provincial


 - Must withdraw a minimum Annual  amount, per the federal schedule.

 - A Maximum Annual Withdrawal  amount, per the federal schedule.

 Payout based on age:

 - Your age or your spouse’s age.

 - Your age or your spouse’s age.

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