CBABC Salutes Government Protection of Retirement Savings

  • November 03, 2008

VANCOUVER – Premier Gordon Campbell announced on Saturday that the provincial government will be acting on the Canadian Bar Association BC Branch (CBABC) recommendation that RRSPs and similar savings instruments be protected from seizure by creditors. CBABC has been actively lobbying for this legislative change not only because it removes an anomaly in the law, but because the majority of lawyers and other professionals, as well as the self-employed and small-business owners, rely on their retirement savings and do not have access to protected pension plans. Here is the excerpt from Saturday’s news release, following the Premier's speech in Whistler:

Protection of RRSPs from creditors: The Province will act to protect from creditors RRSP investments that are made with banks, just as they are protected now with insurance companies. The Province will introduce legislation to exempt RRSPs and similar prescribed plans from seizure by creditors. Currently, investments with insurance companies are protected from seizure. This will provide the same protection for RRSPs invested in banks. The current law is unfair, as pension and insurance products that are essentially identical to RRSPs are exempt from seizure. It will also end the inconsistent treatment of RRSPs under provincial law and federal law.

CBABC has confirmed that RRSP investments with banks is only one example of RRSPs to be protected. It is intended that protection will be extended to all RRSPs recognized under the federal Income Tax Act, consistent with the legislation proposed by CBABC and currently in place in Saskatchewan.

“CBABC Committees and elected leaders have worked hard on this issue since 2004,” said CBABC President Miriam Maisonville. “We have made presentations to the Standing Committee on Finance and Government Services and the Liberal Caucus, and have strongly lobbied individual MLAs and Ministers to bring about this result. We also forged partnerships with other professional and business associations, creating a strong cross-profession advocacy campaign. We are very pleased with Saturday’s announcement by the Premier, and with the recognition CBABC has received for our leadership on this issue.”

“As President of CBABC, on behalf of our members I applaud Premier Gordon Campbell, Attorney General Wally Oppal, QC, MLA Joan McIntyre and all members of government for having the foresight to legislate RRSP protection, particularly at this critical time of economic upheaval.”

For further information please contact:

Miriam Maisonville
Canadian Bar Association, BC Branch
Phone: 604-805-6937

Read about Protection of RRSP from Creditors.

The Canadian Bar Association is the professional organization responsible for representing the interests of more than 38,000 members in Canada, including 6,300 lawyers in British Columbia.