If you leave a defined benefit or defined contribution pension plan before retirement, you have a few options to retain your pension. One of these is to open a locked-in retirement account (or LIRA). A LIRA works much like an RRSP, and you set it up with a bank or other financial institution. This option is usually only available if you are under age 55 at the time of transfer, and, as the name suggests, your money is generally “locked-in” until you retire or reach a certain age.
In Ontario, pensions (and LIRAs) are regulated by the Financial Services Regulatory Authority of Ontario (FSRA). If you have lost track of your LIRA and are unsure of the financial institution where it was held, you can contact FSRA by email (firstname.lastname@example.org) or phone (1-800-668-0128).
Learn more about LIRAs on FSCO’s website.