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Unlocking retirement accounts for those in need

Unlock pensions when financial needs arrive

The Government of Saskatchewan passed new regulations on November 18th, 2021 to help provide options for people facing financial hardships. Under certain circumstances, a prescribed limit of a locked-in retirement account (LIRA) will be able to be withdrawn to ease financial burdens. Under the new rules, to access a portion of the funds early, the LIRA holders will be able to apply to the financial institution from which the LIRA was issued. 

"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." 

The unlocking date will come into force on March 18th, 2022. As the new regulations were passed on November 18, 2021, institutions now need time to train staff and update their systems to accommodate the new legislation. The applications will be available at the financial institutions just before coming into force on March 18th, 2022. 

Applications for specific circumstances are as follows: Form FHU 1 - Low Expected Income, Form FHU 2 - Medical Expenses, Form FHU 3 - Rent Arrears, Form FHU 4 - Mortgage Default, Form FHU 5 - First Month’s Rent, Security Deposit or Pet Damage Deposit for a Principal Residence

Small pensions or shortened life expectancy may also be eligible for unlocking. Regardless of which application is applied for, the LIRA holder must submit the supporting documentation along with the application to the financial institution that issued the LIRA.

For more information about the new regulations download the Unlocking Pension Money Bulletin

For additional inquiries or more information, contact the Pensions Division of the Financial and Consumer Affairs Authority of Saskatchewan at or call them at 306-787-7650

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