Registered Retirement Savings Plan.

In Canada, this is an tax incentive program to encourage canadians to save for their retirement, thus lightening the burden on government pension plans. (CPP, QPP) Every canadian gets RRSP room each year equivalent to a percentage of their income reported on their tax return, and they can invest money up to this amount in a registered plan without being taxed on it. You get a tax credit for the amount of tax paid on the investment, and it can grow tax free. (Non-RRSP investments are subject to a tax on any capital gains as they accrue - RRSPs aren't - they are only taxed when withdrawn from the plan in retirement.)

It's only a tax deferral - the final investment amount is taxed as you withdraw it after you've retired, but it's still advantageous for most people, because the growth isn't taxed as it accrues, so your investment achieves a better return, and typically people are in a lower tax bracket when they retire, so they save taxes there too.

Many things can be registered as RRSPs: stocks, bonds, mutual funds, t-bills, GICs, real estate. The only caveat is that at least 75% of an RRSP must be in Canadian investments, that is, no more than 25% in foreign investments. A monthly penalty of 1% is assessed on RRSPs that exceed the foreign content limit. The foreign content limit is due to be raised by another 5% next year, to 30%.

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