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Access To Locked-in Funds Easier


Ontario is making it easier for people to access locked-in retirement funds by shifting the responsibility for providing access in cases of financial hardship from regulators to financial firms directly. Beginning January 1, 2014, individuals will be able to apply directly to their financial institution for financial hardship withdrawals from locked-in funds (amounts transferred from a registered pension plan into a locked-in account such as locked-in retirement accounts, life income funds, and locked-in retirement income funds). Currently, the superintendent of financial services was responsible. As well, it will reduce the amount of evidence required to authorize a withdrawal and the asset test that determines how much can be unlocked from an account will be replaced with a maximum withdrawal limit. The criteria under which an applicant can apply for financial hardship includes rental or mortgage arrears, medical expenses, payment of first and last month's rent, and low income.

Courtesy of Benefits and Pensions Monitor website News Alerts

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