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Making early withdrawals from your group retirement and savings plan(s) can decrease your future retirement income in more ways than you may know. Learn how your savings can be impacted by even a small withdrawal.

Narrator: Sometimes emergency expenses pop up. Or you have debt you want to pay down.

Description: Phil is parked on the side of the road. He opens the roof of his station wagon. Smoke comes out.

Narrator: You might look at the money in your registered retirement savings plan (RRSP) as a way to take care of it.

Description: Text “Registered retirement savings plan” appears onscreen and shortens to “RRSP.” The RRSP is contained to a box.

Narrator: But, there are lots of reasons why you shouldn’t.

Description: The box fades and falls out of frame.

Narrator: Taking money out of your RRSP now means you'll have less money when you retire.

Description: A pie chart appears with a dollar sign. The dollar sign gets smaller as money is taken out.

Narrator: You'll miss out on the compound interest –

Description: Cut to a bar graph, a small amount of money is invested. Compound interest is added on top.

Narrator: That’s the snowball effect of earning interest on your initial investment, and then interest on your interest. It really adds up.

Description: The same amount of money is invested, and more interest is accumulated on top of the compounded interest. This pattern continues.

Narrator: Taking out $10,000 at age 37 could mean $51,000 less for your retirement.

Description: Cut to two stacks of money, one represents “Present day,” the other “Retirement.” Money is removed from the present stack, resulting in less money in the future stack. Legal line appears: Assumes retirement at age 65 and 6% interest rate.

Narrator: And then there’s taxes.

Description: Cut to a piece of paper with percentage sign.

Narrator: When you take money out of your RRSP, your financial institution withholds some of your money to pay the income tax on the withdrawal.

Description: Return to pie chart with dollar sign. The dollar sign gets smaller. Money withdrawn is morphs into dollar bill with a down arrow. A bank illustration appears.

Narrator: In some provinces, this can be up to 30%.

Description: Cut to map of Canada with text that reads 30% above.

Narrator: Then when you file your income taxes, you'll also have to claim the money you took out as income that year.

Description: Return to piece of paper with percentage sign. A coin represents income and morphs to a bill.

Narrator: Depending on your tax bracket, you may have to pay more in taxes than what was originally withheld.

Description: The bill transforms into three brackets. The first is filled in and labelled 15%, the second 20.5% and the third 26%. Legal line appears: Source: Canada Revenue Agency, Federal tax rates, provincial and territorial tax rates may also apply. For further information visit

Narrator: So, when you take money out of your RRSP early, you could lose more than you might think.

Description: Frame zooms out to view Phil’s phone and hands.

Narrator: Instead, leave your money invested and watch your savings grow.

Description: His hand swipes to reveal GRS Access “Plans” screen with RRSP fund.

Narrator: And if an expense pops up, or you want to pay down some debt, you can often find other ways to do it.

Description: He swipes again to reveal phone call interface. A call is made.

Narrator: Try to get in touch with your financial advisor, accountant or tax advisor,

Description: Return to Phil, talking on his phone and leaning on station wagon.

Narrator: or a credit counsellor for advice.

Description: Fade to Canada Life logo and legal line: Canada Life and design are trademarks of The Canada Life Assurance Company.