Some key dates in the 60-year history of RRSPs in Canada

The registered retirement savings plan marks its 60th anniversary this year.

CALGARY — The registered retirement savings plan marks its 60th anniversary this year. The legislation allowing tax deferral for Canadians putting aside money for their golden years was introduced under Liberal prime minister Louis St. Laurent in 1957.

Here are some of the key dates in the history of the RRSP:

1957 — RRSPs introduced with a contribution limit equal to 10 per cent of the previous year’s earned income, up to a maximum of $2,500.

1974 — Spousal RRSPs begin, allowing contributions from one spouse in the name of the other.

1978 — Registered retirement income funds or RRIFs are introduced to provide an alternative investment vehicle to life annuities when RRSP savings are converted to income.

1990 — Contributors allowed to catch up on up to seven years worth of unused RRSP room (limit removed in 1996).

1992 — RRSP homebuyers’ plan introduced as a temporary measure. Made permanent two years later.

2005 — Foreign content limits, set initially at 10 per cent and raised twice until reaching 30 per cent in 2001, are removed.

2009 — Tax-free savings accounts are introduced.

2011 — RRSP dollar limit indexed to average wage growth.

(Sources: Finance Canada, Canada Revenue Agency)

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