How Do I Draw Income From a QROPS in Canada? (2023)

Key Points

Withdrawals can be made after age 55

Any withdrawal is 100% taxable as income in the year that it is received

You can withdrawal make withdrawals from a QROPS RRSP and QROPS RRIF

At age 71, you are required to convert your RRSP to a RRIF (as per CRA rules)

Consider all sources of income in retirement when planning to take income

A Qualifying Recognized Overseas Pension Scheme (QROPS) is a pension scheme that meets certain conditions set by the UK government. If you have transferred your UK pension scheme from the UK to Canada, you may be wondering how you can draw income from it.

A QROPS that has been transferred from the UK to Canada is restricted for withdrawals until the age of 55. As a result, you will not be able to draw income from your QROPS RRSP account in Canada until age 55. If you have reached age 55, there are different ways of accessing the funds within your account.

If you are planning on leaving your QROPS as a RRSP and not convert it to a RRIF, you are typically able to access 30% of the initial transfer value at the age of 55 in the form of lump sum withdrawals. Please keep in mind that these withdrawals would be gross (before withholding tax) and not net (after tax). As a result, the 30% that you have access to would not be 30% in your pocket because it would be subject to income/withholding tax as per the CRA.

If you are ready for regular, consistent income in retirement, you should consider converting your QROPS RRSP to a QROPS RRIF account. An RRSP (Registered Retirement Savings Plan) is to be used while you are in your saving years and not withdrawing any money. When you are wanting to start drawing income for retirement (e.g. regular monthly withdrawals), you should convert it to a RRIF (Registered Retirement Income Fund) which is designed for when you are wanting to draw income.

Drawing Income in Retirement

If you are ready to start drawing regular income from your QROPS RRSP, there are a few steps you’ll need to take.

Contact your QROPS provider/agent
The first step is to contact your QROPS provider or agent in Canada to find out what options are available to you for drawing income. Your agent or investment provider will be able to explain the process and provide you with the necessary forms.

Choose your income options
You’ll need to choose how you want to receive your income. Typically, most people will draw income on a monthly basis, but you can also take payments quarterly or annually. Your QROPS provider or agent will be able to explain the pros and cons of each option and help you make an informed decision.

Complete the necessary paperwork
Once you’ve decided on your income options, you’ll need to complete the necessary paperwork to request your payments. Your QROPS provider or agent will provide you with the forms you need to fill out.

Consider tax implications
It’s important to consider the tax implications of drawing income from your QROPS in Canada. All withdrawals from your QROPS RRSP or QROPS RRIF are 100% taxable to you as income. All withdrawals will be added to any other income that you have for that specific calendar year and you will be taxed as such.

Review your income strategy
Finally, it’s important to review your income strategy regularly to ensure that it’s still meeting your needs. You may need to adjust your income options or consider other financial products to help you achieve your retirement goals.


One of the best parts about working with Strata Wealth is that we provide all of this advice for you. Simon Huften has helped countless ex Pats with their retirement income needs and ensures that your portfolio is structured properly for you at no additional cost.

Drawing income in retirement is not as simple as it seems. You need to understand the different streams of income that you have coming in for retirement and how they are going to be taxed. Income coming from a QROPS RRSP / RRIF is 100% taxable as income in the year that it is received.

One of the best parts about working with Strata Wealth is that we provide advice on your QROPS RRSP and QROPS RRIF at no additional cost. Simon Huften has helped countless ex Pats with their retirement income needs while ensuring that your portfolio is structured properly for you. This is all included when you are a client at Strata Wealth.

Please contact us today for a free consultation to see if it makes sense for you to transfer your pension funds to Canada.