The Lifelong Learning Plan: Withdrawing from Your RRSP to Fund Education

The Lifelong Learning Plan (LLP) is a remarkable feature of the Registered Retirement Savings Plan (RRSP) that allows Canadians to borrow funds from their RRSPs to finance full-time education or training for themselves or their spouses/common-law partners. Unlike regular withdrawals, amounts borrowed under the LLP are not subject to tax at the time of withdrawal, provided they are repaid within a specified period. Here’s how to leverage the LLP for your educational advancement.

Eligibility Criteria:

  • Participants: To be eligible, you must be a Canadian resident with an RRSP account. The plan permits you to withdraw funds for your own education or that of your spouse/common-law partner, but not for your children’s education.
  • Educational Programs: The program must be a full-time educational program at a designated educational institution. Part-time programs may qualify if the student has a disability.

How It Works:

  • Withdrawal Limits: You can withdraw up to $10,000 in a calendar year, with a total limit of $20,000 over the duration of your participation in the LLP.
  • Repayment Period: The repayment period starts the fifth year after your first LLP withdrawal, or earlier if you stop being a full-time student or if your participation in the LLP ends. You have up to 10 years to repay the withdrawn amounts to your RRSP.
  • Repayments: Each year, you must repay at least 1/10th of the total amount you withdrew until the full amount is repaid. If you do not repay the annual minimum, it will be added to your income for that year and taxed accordingly.

Tax Benefits:

  • No Immediate Taxation: Withdrawals under the LLP are not included in your income, meaning you won’t pay tax on the amounts borrowed at the time of withdrawal.
  • Flexible Repayment: The repayment flexibility allows you to manage your finances effectively while advancing your education, without the immediate tax burden of traditional RRSP withdrawals.

How to Apply:

  • Ensure Eligibility: Verify that both you and your intended educational program meet the LLP eligibility criteria.
  • Complete Form RC96: Fill out the Lifelong Learning Plan (LLP) – Request to Withdraw Funds from an RRSP form to request a withdrawal under the LLP.
  • Submit to Your Financial Institution: Provide the completed form to the financial institution holding your RRSP for processing.


  • Impact on Retirement Savings: While the LLP offers immediate tax benefits and supports educational advancement, consider the impact of withdrawals on your long-term retirement savings. Funds withdrawn under the LLP are not earning investment income until repaid.
  • Plan for Repayment: To maximize the benefit of the LLP and avoid future taxation, create a repayment plan that aligns with your financial situation post-education.


The Lifelong Learning Plan provides an innovative way to finance further education, making it an attractive option for those looking to enhance their skills or change careers. By understanding and utilizing the LLP, Canadians can invest in their education while enjoying the tax advantages associated with RRSP withdrawals.

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