Registered products: rights and responsibilities

From: Financial Consumer Agency of Canada

 

If you are considering setting up a registered plan (e.g. an RRSP) with a federally regulated financial institution, you have the right to be informed about key details before the plan is set up. You also have the right to be informed before any changes to the terms of your agreement come into effect.

Your right to information applies to the following registered products:  

  • Tax-Free Savings Account (TFSA)
  • Registered education savings plan (RESP)
  • Registered retirement savings plan (RRSP)
  • Registered retirement income fund (RRIF)
  • Registered disability savings plan (RDSP)

Note: From this point forward, the term "institution" will mean federally regulated financial institution.

What you have the right to know before you purchase a registered plan

  • all the charges that might apply to the registered plan
  • how you will be notified of any increase in those charges and of any new charges that might apply to the registered plan
  • how to lodge a complaint with the institution if you have a problem with how the institution is applying charges to the registered product

Note: you can generally hold many different types of investments within a registered plan, such as a guaranteed investment certificate (GIC) or a mutual fund. These regulations apply to the registered plan itself and not the individual investments that you might have within your plan. There are separate regulations that regulate your right to information about these types of investments, such as the Deposit Type Instruments Regulations.

If the terms and conditions change

Before changing any of the terms and conditions for a registered plan, the institution must disclose the proposed changes in writing to you.

How the information has to be disclosed to you

The information listed above has to be provided to you both in writing and orally before you open an account or enter into an agreement. However, there are two exceptions to how the information can be disclosed:

  1. When you open a plan by phone

    If you open an account or enter into an agreement by phone, the institution must provide you the disclosure listed above only orally before it opens the account or enter into the agreement. After you open the account or enter in to the agreement, the institution must also provide you the information in writing without delay.

  2. When you open a plan electronically or by mail

    Before you open an account or enter into an agreement electronically or by mail, the institution is obliged to provide the information in writing only. It must also provide you with the phone number of a person who is knowledgeable about the terms and conditions of the registered plan.

Additional disclosure

An institution must keep a list of all the charges that apply to registered plans at each of its branches, points of service and on each of its websites where registered plans are offered in Canada. The list must be made available to you upon request.

Circumstances where institutions do not have to provide disclosure

An institution does not have to provide you with the information listed above if:

  • you already have a registered plan and the plan to be opened will form part of the existing plan
  • you have already received disclosure in writing outlining all of the charges associated with the registered plan

For more information, visit webpage Registered Products Regulations.

What you should do if you feel your rights are not being respected

If you feel that a federally regulated financial institution is not respecting your rights, contact the Financial Consumer Agency of Canada.

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