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Can I transfer a security from a non-registered account into an RRSP?

Dear Nancy Woods,

Can a person replace, in-kind, a security from his non-registered investment account into his RRSP (cash replacement from RRSP) without having to sell it first?  

Thanks, Lyla

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Dear Lyla,

The Canadian government closed the option to swap securities with cash, in or out of a registered plan, in 2011. The only way you can, like you said, is to sell it first and then buy it again in the RSP.  It is best not to put in the buy and sell orders at the same time to avoid the possibility of you buying the shares you are selling. In other words, put in the order to sell, wait for the confirmation and then buy.

You can discuss with your brokerage firm if there is a reduced commission to make that type of transaction.

The other option is to contribute the shares if you have enough RSP contribution allowance.  Be aware that if there is a capital gain on the security, it will have to be declared.  If there is a loss, you would have to wait 30 days before buying back to avoid the superficial loss rule.


Nancy Woods is an associate portfolio manager and investment adviser with RBC Dominion Securities Inc. Visit her website or send an email request to You can send your questions to as well.

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Nancy Woods, CIM, FCSI, is an associate portfolio manager and investment adviser with RBC Dominion Securities Inc. More


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