An RRSP or RRIF may be transferred to a former spouse without tax consequences if the following conditions are met:

  • the spouses are living apart
  • the transfer is either:
    • ordered by a decree, order or judgment of a competent tribunal, or
    • contained in a written separation agreement relating to a division of property in settlement of marital property rights
  • the transfer is made directly between plans

On marital breakdown, a spouse may withdraw funds from a spousal RRSP without triggering income attribution to the contributing spouse’s tax return, provided the spouses are living apart. In this case, there does not need to be a formal separation agreement.