TFSA vs. RRSP

The information contained in this page is taken from and adapted from information provided by the Department of Finance Canada, 2015.

Age limit

TFSARRSP
As of age 18.Minimum age: 16 in Quebec and 18 in the Canadian provinces, the minimum authorized age to own a contract in Canada.
No maximum age.Maximum age: No later than the year you turn 71.

Contribution

TFSARRSP
Dollar limit: $10,000 per civil year from 2015 (2009-2012: $5,000, 2013-2014: $5,500).Dollar limit: $24,930 for 2015, indexed to growth in Average Wage.
Contribution room: Equal to dollar limit.Contribution room: 18% of income, up to dollar limit.
Possibility to "re-contribute" the amounts withdrawn equivalent to the withdrawal amount (as of the year following withdrawal).No possibility to "re-contribute" the amounts withdrawn.
Contribution to spouse's account: No, but it is possible to give money to one's spouse (as a gift) so that he or she can contribute to his or her own TFSA.Contribution to spouse's account: Yes

Taxation

TFSARRSP
Contribution tax deductible: NoContribution tax deductible: Yes
Withdrawal taxable: No
No impact of withdrawals on income-tested government benefits and tax credits.
Withdrawal taxable: Yes
Since the withdrawals are added to income, there is an impact on income-tested government benefits and tax credits.
Investment income taxable: NoInvestment income taxable: No Investment income is taxable when withdrawn.
Tax upon death: No (fair market value at the date of death).Tax upon death: Yes, subject to the exemptions applicable to the spouse and dependent children and grand-children.

Find out more about the TFSA and the RRSP.