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This is a bit of a strange question, but I have a brother-in-law who called me today wanting to know how he can locate his RRSP accounts. Over the past two decades he's worked at various companies in different towns in Newfoundland/Quebec and at each employer he'd take advantage of the matching contributions to RRSP and pension plan the companies were offering. However, he never kept track of them or followed up with them after he left each company. Recently he's been trying to take control of his finances but he can't remember where these small pools of money are - he knows they're with Sunlife/Great West Life - he's tried contacting them and he can't remember the employer associated with the specific plan or even what address was used to set up the account. I can definitely see why he's having trouble getting information from the banks themselves.

Would the CRA assist him in this case? I suggested he contact them as they're registered accounts. Has anyone heard of a situation like this before?

Any help in this regard would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks!
 

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Closest I have heard of is the former employee contacting the old employer (or whatever company bought them out).
CRA seems like the best source, given that he does not remember the former employers.


Cheers
 

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He would have invested in the Co. Defined contribution plan. Hopefully he remember's the Prov.'s he worked in and can contact
the pension regulators of that Prov. He can find them online.
 

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If they are or can get connected with CRA's "My Account" online access, the online system seems to offer information from the last 10 years (since 2006) of RRSP contribution receipts. And if they call CRA, presumably they would have all historical RRSP contribution slips and could arrange to provide him with copies.

But if the money is with people like Sun Life or Great West, he should be able to contact those companies, and after satisfying them of his identity get a list of any RRSP accounts each might have for him. No matter the employer, they'd all be linked to him by his SIN. They'd have the fiduciary responsibility to him for the RRSP accounts, and shouldn't need to coordinate with former employers.

That's assuming these were some sort of Group RRSP with the company. If there were actual registered pension plans involved there is no RRSP slip, and there might be more detective work involved - I don't know if CRA can easily provide info on what RPP's someone is a member of. But usually plans like that would have refunded contributions if someone had worked there less than two years (typical vesting period).
 

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If they are or can get connected with CRA's "My Account" online access, the online system seems to offer information from the last 10 years (since 2006) of RRSP contribution receipts. And if they call CRA, presumably they would have all historical RRSP contribution slips and could arrange to provide him with copies.
Provided the person requiring his/her prior year contribution records, is computer savvy enough to open a CRA account (MY ACCOUNT) ,
You can go back 25 years from the current year (2016). All RRSP recorded contributions (where RRSP slips were issued to the holder of the RRSP account(s), should be stored with CRA..provided the RRSP receipts were filed by the holder.

BTW, mine were there, and go back to 1991, even though I cashed them in after divorce in 98, and have tons of contribution room there for each year.

IF you open a CRA account (and get your security key in the mail to login), once you access MY ACCOUNT, you can go to RRSP (and other registered savings plans), then find PRIOR YEAR CONTRIBUTION HISTORY to go back as far as 1991. CRA doesn't have any records stored before 1991, so any contributions before that will be very difficult to track down.

Most tax payers don't keep their returns beyond 7 years, so if the RRSP contributions for each given year, since you started working is important, then a separate file with Photo copies of the RRSP contribution receipt from the RRSP account holder (bank or other Financial Institution) should be kept over the years. Of course that is hindsight if you haven't done that over the years.

But if the money is with people like Sun Life or Great West, he should be able to contact those companies, and after satisfying them of his identity get a list of any RRSP accounts each might have for him. No matter the employer, they'd all be linked to him by his SIN. They'd have the fiduciary responsibility to him for the RRSP accounts, and shouldn't need to coordinate with former employers.
That makes sense, former employers over 20-25 years of a person's working history/contributions, probably wouldn't keep any records of a given employee that far back,
but the problem with a lot of these insurance/Financial Institutions is proving your identity. You would have to go
through a few hoops to do that.
 

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... If there were actual registered pension plans involved there is no RRSP slip, and there might be more detective work involved - I don't know if CRA can easily provide info on what RPP's someone is a member of. But usually plans like that would have refunded contributions if someone had worked there less than two years (typical vesting period).
If it was less than the vesting period ... the proceeds should have been delivered and there's nothing to find.

If it was more than the vesting period ... then usually a choice is given whether to stay with the plan or take the proceeds. Depending on the choice made, there may or may not be something to find.


Cheers
 

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Usually when you're enrolled in a plan they continue to mail you even after you've finished contributing. I think there are some sorts of laws around that.

Then again your brother in law sounds like the type of person who probably doesn't change his mailing address when he moves, leaving the new people to move in to deal with his mail for years to come.

Does he at least know where he worked? He should be at least able to find out what company they were associated with at the time even if they don't have his specific record.
 

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The easiest way is to get his credit file. Trans Union and and Equifax will have everything in your brotherlaws name. He will need to write in and get his complete file. The freebie internet ones will only give him a number.
 

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The easiest way is to get his credit file. Trans Union and and Equifax will have everything in your brotherlaws name. He will need to write in and get his complete file. The freebie internet ones will only give him a number.
???? How does the person's credit file have anything to do with his RRSP contributions over the years? Wouldn't this be more of a CRA privacy issue?
 

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Usually when you're enrolled in a plan they continue to mail you even after you've finished contributing. I think there are some sorts of laws around that.

Then again your brother in law sounds like the type of person who probably doesn't change his mailing address when he moves, leaving the new people to move in to deal with his mail for years to come.

Does he at least know where he worked? He should be at least able to find out what company they were associated with at the time even if they don't have his specific record.
Good luck going back 2 decades with companies where you used to work to get contribution records. Large companies
with big personnel computer systems and IT depts maybe, but the little construction or mining company , it will be very
hard to find anyone that knows how to dig through any books/records on contributions of past employees..assuming
those records even still exist somewhere.

If he has a SIN, any contributions to a registered plan, where taxes (or even no taxes TFSA) payable will be monitored by CRA. They have your number (SIN) and the banks and financial institutions have to send in a RRSP report on any yearly Individual contributions to a registered plan , as well as sending a RRSP contribution slip to the holder of the account.

Even if the person holding the RRSP account fails to file their return(s) or not contributing any amount to their plan in a given year, any contributions made through a company will still be on record with CRA.

But to get those records, you need to open an account with CRA with passwords and other security information. If the person is not computer savvy to do this, it will be a long road to go back to find all these contribution records.

The CRA (MY ACCOUNT) contains a lot of personal data about you and your income/retirement plans, so it is something that you want to think over, before allowing someone else to open an account for you, because that information will then be known to a third party, even if the third party is a family member.

However, you as the holder of the account can change your CRA LOGIN PASSWORD to your account, and then only you can access your account.
There could be extenuating circumstances though...illness (such as dementia, or brain injury or even death) where someone else that you can trust completely can gain access to your online records.
 

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This would surprise me but I admit that I have never seen a copy of my credit report (Equifax or Transunion).
So that I don't derail this thread, I have left further comments on the old CMF thread called "Equifax and Transunion Credit Reports"
Equifax and Transunion DO NOT track RRSP contributions. That is strictly private information between the holder of the RRSP and the financial institution
that monitors and administers the RRSP contributions in the holders name and address/SIN and CRA of course.

If you opened a RRSP while working for an employer, and made contributions on a regular basis through payroll deductions..maybe,
as the employer would know the SIN number, and there was an arrangement for the payroll dept make these deposits at a chosen F/I in the RRSP holders name.

So it is possible that the amount of employee contributions for each pay period may be recorded (somewhere) by the employer, (similar to Canada Savings Bonds deductions), and may even show up on the T4 slip.

However the F/I administrating the RRSP would still send the holder of the RRSP a receipt for the years contributions as a RRSP slip at tax return time for reporting to CRA , similar to a T4/T5. I believe it is a TRRSP.
 
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