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Funds In Locked-In Retirement Accounts Now More Accessible For People In Need

The Government of Saskatchewan has put in place new measures that will allow people facing financial hardship to withdraw a portion of their funds from their locked-in retirement accounts (LIRA) under certain circumstances.

Under the new rules to access the funds, LIRA holders will be able to apply to the financial institution which issued the LIRA.

“These regulations are intended to allow individuals facing financial difficulties early access to funds from a LIRA, which would typically be locked in until age fifty-five,” Justice Minister and Attorney General Gordon Wyant said. “Unforeseen circumstances can occur, and this change will allow flexibility for people with funds in a LIRA.”

How does an individual apply for financial hardship unlocking?

The new regulations were passed on November 18th, 2021. In order to provide financial institutions time to modify their systems and train their staff, the regulations will come into force on March 18th, 2022 and applications can be made on or after this date.

To access funds, the LIRA holder will need to submit required documentation with their application to the financial institution that issued the LIRA. The application forms will be available shortly before March 18, 2022.

What are the financial hardship circumstances?

Individuals applying for financial hardship unlocking will be able to apply to unlock under the following circumstances: low expected income, medical expenses, threat of eviction or foreclosure, or funds required to secure a new principal rental residence.

For more information about the new regulations and criteria, visit the Unlocking Pension Money Bulletin.

For inquiries or more information, the Pensions Division of the Financial and Consumer Affairs Authority of Saskatchewan can be contacted at pensions@gov.sk.ca or 306-787-7650.

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