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Rates dropping April 18/19
April 23, 2019
11:55 am
Winnie
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Loonie said
What's the issue with Accelerate, Winnie? I don't recall anyone complaining about them before. I was considering them for my RIFs, but have now decided otherwise . This decision is no fault of Accelerate; I just preferred an Ontario FI and have found one that is acceptable.  

Loonie, I had RRSP with Accelerate and I was doing regular withdrawal every year from that RRSP.
Each and every year they requested from me a signed letter, where I needed to clearly state, that I understand, that when I will make such withdrawal from RRSP, there will be also a tax withdrawal and I will actually receive a lesser amount.
Do not matter how many times I explained to them, that I'm fully aware how RRSP works and I already did a few withdrawal with them in previous years, they anyways treated me as a child and forced me to send them another signed letter and another.
So, naturally, I didn't liked really that kind of "service".

April 23, 2019
12:34 pm
Rick
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Loonie said
I recently informed Hubert, including a manager, that I would not be moving my RIFs to them solely because they refuse to offer any kind of one-year RIF GIC, which I need. It didn't have any effect on them.  

Personally, don't think I'll require a 1 year GIC in my RIFs. By the time I convert from RSPs, they will all be laddered in 5 year GICs maturing every 6 months with some in a HISA for withdrawals. I chose them for their rates and RIF withdrawing options. I can kind of see why they don't offer the 1 year option for them. Considering the flexible withdrawal options on their RIFs, there would be the possibility of withdrawing monthly on a GIC that accrues interest every three months. Might be a bit of an accounting nightmare.

April 24, 2019
9:47 pm
Loonie
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I don't expect them to offer their existing one year GIC for RIFs. Just a plain jane one would be fine, and a no-brainer as far as I'm concerned, especially for an FI that is usually very responsive.

I didn't foresee this as an issue, and had intended on moving my Oaken RIFs to Hubert as they matured. But in real life I have found a need for the one-year GICs. It wouldn't be rue for everyone.

April 24, 2019
9:57 pm
Loonie
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Thanks for the explanation, Winnie. I can see where that would get to be a nuisance. Since Accelerate specifically does allow additional withdrawals, they ought to be better set up to accommodate them.

Some FIs have it right on their website that if you take money out of a registered plan, there could be financial consequences. It's possible that they may make you tick off that you understand, but that is much easier than having to write a letter.

I suppose they must get some angry responses from some people who discover belatedly they aren't getting as much money as they expected.

I suppose you could have sent them a sheaf of post-dated letters to try to ward off these requests! sf-winksf-laugh

April 25, 2019
8:12 am
Doug
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Loonie said
I find Meridian as good as any and better than some, although my branch is not inclined to be flexible about rates.
They had some very competitive rates over the winter, but all rates are low right now.
My advisor recognizes me when I go in, which has never happened at any other FI in all my 70+ years. And the manager recognizes me as someone who is a member, but doesn't know my name. Some may consider that old-fashioned, but I like it. It means there is a real person I can turn to, who knows I expect straight answers.
The online banking works fine for me.
They will convert RSP GICs to RIF GICs w during the term of the GIC, which many FIs refuse to do, forcing you to choose shorter terms instead.
I do wish though that they would put out monthly statements, not quarterly.

I would make a distinction between FIs that may not do things exactly as you'd prefer and ones that make serious errors that may jeopardize your assets or cause you a lot of worry. I can live with the former if the offer is good enough, but I can't live with the latter.

What's the issue with Accelerate, Winnie? I don't recall anyone complaining about them before. I was considering them for my RIFs, but have now decided otherwise . This decision is no fault of Accelerate; I just preferred an Ontario FI and have found one that is acceptable.  

That's really interesting, Loonie, that you've never been recognized by name and/or face by branch staff other than at Meridian Credit Union. Is that because you're in Toronto where there are, presumably, many more customers per branch? When I worked at HSBC, I basically knew all the customers by name (first and, in most cases, last as well) and many of them even by their branch and customer profile/account number. If it wasn't busy, I would even welcome them (from the back of the branch where the CSR counter was) as they entered the front door where the ATM vestibule was. sf-cool

Meridian definitely has less-than-competitive GIC rates, only slightly better than the "Big 5" banks, but from what I've read, some of their back-office processes might be somewhat outdated, would that be fair?

Yet in other ways, like e-receipts and their Sweep feature, or even their "price check" service (not sure I'd use that, though), they seem to offer unprecedented and innovative technologies, services, and products. sf-smile

Cheers,
Doug

April 25, 2019
8:19 am
Doug
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Loonie said
I don't expect them to offer their existing one year GIC for RIFs. Just a plain jane one would be fine, and a no-brainer as far as I'm concerned, especially for an FI that is usually very responsive.

I didn't foresee this as an issue, and had intended on moving my Oaken RIFs to Hubert as they matured. But in real life I have found a need for the one-year GICs. It wouldn't be rue for everyone.  

I'm still curious as to why Hubert's one-year quarterly GIC wouldn't work for you, Loonie. Or is that because it's not available in the RIF? If so, that is indeed curious as to why Hubert won't offer it in a RIF (or at least non-redeemable 1-year GIC ). Still, Rick mentioned potentially not needing a 1-year GIC in his RRIF with a properly structured GIC ladder. Couldn't you make due with 2-5 year GICs such that you have regular amounts redeeming each year and/or specify that you want your interest annually paid to a RIF savings account instead of being compounded to the RIF GIC and then just withdraw the interest earned (which I'm sure for you probably is equal to or greater than the minimum RIF withdrawal amount).

Cheers,
Doug

April 25, 2019
8:21 am
Doug
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Loonie said
Thanks for the explanation, Winnie. I can see where that would get to be a nuisance. Since Accelerate specifically does allow additional withdrawals, they ought to be better set up to accommodate them.

Some FIs have it right on their website that if you take money out of a registered plan, there could be financial consequences. It's possible that they may make you tick off that you understand, but that is much easier than having to write a letter.

I suppose they must get some angry responses from some people who discover belatedly they aren't getting as much money as they expected.

I suppose you could have sent them a sheaf of post-dated letters to try to ward off these requests! sf-winksf-laugh  

Yes, thanks for clarifying that, Winnie. Having to write a letter every year is indeed onerous and somewhat unprecedented. Don't FIs normally let you just make registered plan withdrawal request online, either automatically processed or ones that are subsequently processed within 1-2 business days by staff?

Cheers,
Doug

April 25, 2019
9:51 am
Loonie
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Doug said

I'm still curious as to why Hubert's one-year quarterly GIC wouldn't work for you, Loonie. Or is that because it's not available in the RIF? If so, that is indeed curious as to why Hubert won't offer it in a RIF (or at least non-redeemable 1-year GIC ). Still, Rick mentioned potentially not needing a 1-year GIC in his RRIF with a properly structured GIC ladder. Couldn't you make due with 2-5 year GICs such that you have regular amounts redeeming each year and/or specify that you want your interest annually paid to a RIF savings account instead of being compounded to the RIF GIC and then just withdraw the interest earned (which I'm sure for you probably is equal to or greater than the minimum RIF withdrawal amount).

Cheers,
Doug  

The issue is that Hubert doesn't permit any kind of one-year GIC in a RIF. As far as I know, they are the only FI that doesn't.

It would be tedious to get into the entire scenario as to why this is not acceptable to me. I think the onus is on them to explain why they are the only FI that doesn't offer it.
I can certainly see that their quarterly interest system would make it more complicated and probably not worth their while due to the mandatory withdrawals and possibly quarterly ones as well, but ehre is no reason why they can't offer an ordinary one.
I'm not interested in "making do".
Why keep the money in savings for a year if you can have it in a higher-paying GIC?

April 25, 2019
10:03 am
Doug
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Loonie said

The issue is that Hubert doesn't permit any kind of one-year GIC in a RIF. As far as I know, they are the only FI that doesn't.

It would be tedious to get into the entire scenario as to why this is not acceptable to me. I think the onus is on them to explain why they are the only FI that doesn't offer it.
I can certainly see that their quarterly interest system would make it more complicated and probably not worth their while due to the mandatory withdrawals and possibly quarterly ones as well, but ehre is no reason why they can't offer an ordinary one.
I'm not interested in "making do".
Why keep the money in savings for a year if you can have it in a higher-paying GIC?  

Thanks, Loonie...so it sounds like the main issue is the lack of any RRIF GIC. You'd ideally prefer a 1-year non-redeemable GIC, but if they'd offered their quarterly 1-year GIC in a RRIF, that might be enough to have gotten you to move more of your RRIF assets over to them?

I think that's fair...I don't see why they wouldn't want to offer even an ordinary 1-year non-redeemable GIC (ideally across all account types). Even if it had a slightly lower effective interest rate than the 1-year quarterly, so long as it was competitive, I'm certain you would be fine with that, eh? sf-cool

Although you may have decided on where to move your RRIF assets to, but had you considered Implicity Financial, a division of Entegra Credit Union? They're about the size of Sunova Credit Union, parent of Hubert Financial, in terms of assets except all their branches (4 of them) are based in Winnipeg. They use the MemberDirect platform so their e-Statements are among the best (same as Outlook Financial, part of Assiniboine Credit Union, or even Meridian Credit Union, which I'm sure you like). They have a 1-year, non-redeemable annually paid or compounded RRIF GIC paying 2.60% (as at April 25, 2019). The nice thing about them, too, is you get a debit card so you can use any Credit Union ATM on the Acculink (ding-free™) ATM network (99% of credit unions in Canada) to make deposits. As well, they don't have transaction fees like so many Manitoba CUs that charge you $1-1.50 per debit transaction after the first one per month. The only things they charge for are additional books of cheques and a $1.00 fee for Interac point-of-sale purchases with your Implicity debit card, which I know you wouldn't use anyway. sf-wink

They're just as easy as Hubert to deal with, very accommodating, and you can e-mail them or use live chat. They're only open Monday-Friday (no Saturdays, yet) and you have to link your external bank accounts with a paper-based form and either a VOID cheque, Direct Deposit Form from your bank, or a copy of your e-Statement if it has the required information, but that's not a significant issue. I think you'd really like them.

Their "Rates" page is here:

https://www.implicity.ca/Rates/

Cheers,
Doug

April 25, 2019
10:37 am
Loonie
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Yes, I would have been happy with either a quarterly or non-redeemable one-year GIC from Hubert.
Thanks for the suggestion but Implicity is not on my short list. I don't need the ATM part at all, and I don't think they offer any advantages for my situation. I will keep Hubert for other things. I think one MB CU is enough, considering their unlimited insurance.
All things being equal, I would prefer to keep the money in my own province to facilitate POA and estate. Now that Motus has emerged, I think I'll probably go with them, at least for the GIC I have coming due shortly.

April 25, 2019
3:39 pm
Briguy
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Loonie said
Yes, I would have been happy with either a quarterly or non-redeemable one-year GIC from Hubert.
Thanks for the suggestion but Implicity is not on my short list. I don't need the ATM part at all, and I don't think they offer any advantages for my situation. I will keep Hubert for other things. I think one MB CU is enough, considering their unlimited insurance.
All things being equal, I would prefer to keep the money in my own province to facilitate POA and estate. Now that Motus has emerged, I think I'll probably go with them, at least for the GIC I have coming due shortly.  

In another thread it was mentioned that Hubert will allow you to increase your withdrawals from a RRIF, even if the GIC hasn't come due. They also will allow release of funds to your estate upon death without a branch visit with a mailed in certified death certificate and notarized will. That sounds like it checks all your boxes to me. I for one certainly plan to keep my RRSP and eventually RRIF in Hubert. Although Motus sounds promising as well.

April 25, 2019
3:45 pm
Doug
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Briguy said

In another thread it was mentioned that Hubert will allow you to increase your withdrawals from a RRIF, even if the GIC hasn't come due. They also will allow release of funds to your estate upon death without a branch visit with a mailed in certified death certificate and notarized will. That sounds like it checks all your boxes to me. I for one certainly plan to keep my RRSP and eventually RRIF in Hubert. Although Motus sounds promising as well.  

Yeah, that sounds flexible of Hubert, but I agree with Loonie: why should he have to jump through those hoops, even if Hubert provides the step-stool to assist in jumping through those hoops? That said, if I were Loonie, I'd analyze the existing FIs I dealt with, see if any offered 1-year GICs, and compared the rates on those 1-year GICs. If the difference was not especially significant (less than 0.25%), then I wouldn't rush to open an account with Motus Bank, in the aim of keeping things simple. sf-cool

Cheers,
Doug

April 25, 2019
3:54 pm
Briguy
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Doug said

Yeah, that sounds flexible of Hubert, but I agree with Loonie: why should he have to jump through those hoops, even if Hubert provides the step-stool to assist in jumping through those hoops? That said, if I were Loonie, I'd analyze the existing FIs I dealt with, see if any offered 1-year GICs, and compared the rates on those 1-year GICs. If the difference was not especially significant (less than 0.25%), then I wouldn't rush to open an account with Motus Bank, in the aim of keeping things simple. sf-cool

Cheers,
Doug  

For simplicity, I like the idea of keeping all my RRSPs and RRIFs in one institution that gives a good interest rate year round, that I don't have to keep switching from FI to FI for better interest rates. Hubert checks all the boxes for me at the moment. That's not to say Motus, Implicity, Accelerate etc are not all good alternatives.

( I also keep a chunk of my RRSP money in Saskatchewan Pension Plan which even gives you a slighter better rate on an annuity payout option later. )

April 25, 2019
4:04 pm
Doug
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Briguy said

For simplicity, I like the idea of keeping all my RRSPs and RRIFs in one institution that gives a good interest rate year round, that I don't have to keep switching from FI to FI for better interest rates. Hubert checks all the boxes for me at the moment. That's not to say Motus, Implicity, Accelerate etc are not all good alternatives.

( I also keep a chunk of my RRSP money in Saskatchewan Pension Plan which even gives you a slighter better rate on an annuity payout option later. )  

You're in Saskatchewan? Curious what town/city you live in...if Saskatoon or Regina, then yeah, doesn't really matter whether Exchange or Acculink ATM network for you.

My maternal grandparents live in Prince Albert, which does have two credit unions but both only on the ding-free™/Acculink ATM network. My grandma (mom's mom), who turns 80 this year (or next year?), used to work for CIBC so she keeps her grandfathered CIBC staff chequing and savings accounts there but has her investment portfolio with RBC. My step-grandpa used to be the district manager for the Saskatchewan Ministry of Transportation and Highways and his region covered Melfort in the south to Uranium City in the north, he said.

Cheers,
Doug

April 25, 2019
4:09 pm
Briguy
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Doug said

You're in Saskatchewan? Curious what town/city you live in...if Saskatoon or Regina, then yeah, doesn't really matter whether Exchange or Acculink ATM network for you.

My maternal grandparents live in Prince Albert, which does have two credit unions but both only on the ding-free™/Acculink ATM network. My grandma (mom's mom), who turns 80 this year (or next year?), used to work for CIBC so she keeps her grandfathered CIBC staff chequing and savings accounts there but has her investment portfolio with RBC. My step-grandpa used to be the district manager for the Saskatchewan Ministry of Transportation and Highways and his region covered Melfort in the south to Uranium City in the north, he said.

Cheers,
Doug  

No, I live in Toronto, but I make contributions to Saskatchewan Pension Plan anyways since there's no requirement to live there.

You can use your credit card to make up to 6200 dollars a year RRSP contributions, so you earn an extra 2% in cash back on your credit card. Plus the plan has averaged 8% return since 1986 ( although losing money last year ), and has just under 1% in management fees. Plus you can get a good deal later compared to an insurance agent if you decide to get an annuity instead of a RRIF payout.

April 25, 2019
4:13 pm
Doug
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Briguy said
No, I live in Toronto, but I make contributions to Saskatchewan Pension Plan anyways since there's no requirement to live there.

You can use your credit card to make up to 6200 dollars a year RRSP contributions, so you earn an extra 2% in cash back on your credit card. Plus the plan has averaged 8% return since 1986 ( although losing money last year ), and has just under 1% in management fees. Plus you can get a good deal later compared to an insurance agent if you decide to get an annuity instead of a RRIF payout.  

Have you ever lived in Saskatchewan, though? And how is the SPP on your death? Is it like the CPP in that you only get a paltry sum ($2500) back?

1% is kind of high in management fees - you can do better with a robo-advisor or even lower in a single-ticket auto-rebalanced, globally diversified ETF from Vanguard, BlackRock, BMO, or Horizons (pick your vendor).

Cheers,
Doug

April 25, 2019
4:45 pm
Briguy
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Doug said

Have you ever lived in Saskatchewan, though? And how is the SPP on your death? Is it like the CPP in that you only get a paltry sum ($2500) back?

1% is kind of high in management fees - you can do better with a robo-advisor or even lower in a single-ticket auto-rebalanced, globally diversified ETF from Vanguard, BlackRock, BMO, or Horizons (pick your vendor).

Cheers,
Doug  

No, I never lived in Saskatchewan, born and raised and stayed in T.O. my whole life. S.P.P will pay ALL your money back, like any RRIF. If you choose annuity, you may get less or more than your money back depending on how long you live. It seems to be a good way of getting an annuity, which is normally only available through an insurance company agent or indirectly through a broker. If you know for sure you don't want an annuity,and you want a no thought process stock market solution,I agree you are probably better off getting one of those new Vanguard or IShare asset allocation all-in-one funds like VBAL,VGRO, XBAL,XGRO which only have about 0.25% management fees and which do all the rebalancing for you.

April 25, 2019
4:57 pm
Doug
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Briguy said

No, I never lived in Saskatchewan, born and raised and stayed in T.O. my whole life. S.P.P will pay ALL your money back, like any RRIF. If you choose annuity, you may get less or more than your money back depending on how long you live. It seems to be a good way of getting an annuity, which is normally only available through an insurance company agent or indirectly through a broker. If you know for sure you don't want an annuity,and you want a no thought process stock market solution,I agree you are probably better off getting one of those new Vanguard or IShare asset allocation all-in-one funds like VBAL,VGRO, XBAL,XGRO which only have about 0.25% management fees and which do all the rebalancing for you.  

Yeah, I'm not sure how the "refund life annuity" works, but I agree that if you're a person who wants a guarantee of not running out of money while alive, then this option is a good one as at least there's no upfront or deferred sales commissions that are so common in the annuity sales industry. sf-cool

You can, I see, transfer out your funds between the ages of 55-71 (inclusive) into a LIRA (provincial version of the Locked-in RRSP, which is for federal pension legislation). If you don't transfer it out by age 71, though, it looks like you have to take a life only or refund life annuity, right?

The management fees would still make it cheaper than the Tangerine investment funds (at 1.07% versus 0.89% for SPP) or the CIBC index funds offered to Simplii Financial customers (1.12% versus 0.89% for SPP), so on that basis, the SPP is more attractive, with the important caveat that the SPP uses actively managed funds that rely on the fund manager to consistently meet or, ideally, beat, the broader market.

It's a good option, though, and certainly I'd put it right up there with the single-ticket ETFs, with Tangerine's and CIBC's index funds, with TD's e-Series index funds, and with robo-advisors.

Certainly no reason to stick with high MER mutual funds from the major banks and investment dealers. sf-wink

Learned something new today in that I thought:

  • one had to be a Saskatchewan resident to join the SPP (answer: nope!);
  • that the SPP was mandatory for all Saskatchewan residents to join (answer: nope!); and,
  • that it was a defined benefit pension plan (answer: nope! it's a defined contribution pension plan, with annuity payout options that are similar to a defined benefit pension plan).

Thanks, Briguy! sf-cool

Cheers,
Doug

P.S. I wonder if they will rebate transfer out fees (like many investment firms) if you opt to transfer in the $10,000 allowed per year?

April 25, 2019
5:07 pm
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Good synopsis for SPP ! I never asked them if they would rebate transfer fees since I transferred funds from Peoples Trust who don't charge transfer fees ( great feature also of Hubert, Achieva, and Oaken ).

We'd better stop discussing SPP before Peter locks thread 🙂

April 25, 2019
5:11 pm
Doug
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Briguy said
Good synopsis for SPP ! I never asked them if they would rebate transfer fees since I transferred funds from Peoples Trust who don't charge transfer fees ( great feature also of Hubert, Achieva, and Oaken ).

We'd better stop discussing SPP before Peter locks thread 🙂  

Thanks, Briguy, for the compliment on my synopsis of SPP, and for your added comments. sf-cool

This is valuable information, though...I wonder if Peter (or NorthernRaven) might split off the posts from post # 36 onward into a new thread titled: "Discussion of the Saskatchewan Pension Plan, its merits, and pitfalls," with a note added to post # 36 that would become post # 1 in the new thread that this thread was split off from an existing thread? sf-cool

Cheers,
Doug

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