Unlike other Registered Retirement Plans, you cannot contribute directly to a Registered Retirement Income Fund. Funds can be transferred from an RRSP, another RRIF, a Registered Pension Plan, or a commuted RRSP annuity. You can convert your RRSPs into RRIFs at any point in the calendar year that you turn 71 years of age.  You can convert them earlier if you wish, but not later.

Some RRIFs are similar to continuing an RRSP, with the exception that you must take some taxable payments from the RRIF, except in the first year it is funded. You can choose any payment level, as long as the total each year is at least equal to the minimum mandatory amount. There is no maximum payment level. RRIFs can continue for the lifetime of the holder or their spouse.

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Investments Glossary