End RRSP season with peace of mind
Every year, the CSF receives numerous requests to investigate alleged offences involving RRSPs. Some examples are:
- Failure to execute requests within deadlines
- Contribution amount errors
- Inappropriate investment vehicles
- Orders executed twice
For nearly two years now, work practices have been disrupted by the pandemic. At the CSF, we want to reiterate that strong vigilance, combined with good organization, will help you get through this period with peace of mind. Here are some practical and easy-to-apply tips to help you along:
- Be proactive: Your clients aren’t necessarily keeping track of all their deadlines. In addition to personalized calls and letters/emails, you can update your voicemail greeting and email signature to remind your clients that it’s time to make their RRSP contributions. You want to try to minimize the number of last-minute requests you receive, which often lead to errors.
- Stay vigilant: You might be receiving numerous requests and dealing with lack of time and stress, but you are still responsible and required to fulfill all your ethical obligations. Therefore, take the time to properly inform your clients, verify that contribution limits are correctly calculated and ensure that all documents are duly completed. At this stage, it’s important to remember to keep client knowledge up to date. In particular, a client’s investor profile should be reviewed whenever they want to make an investment in order to verify if there have been any changes in their situation.
- Keep up-to-date records: During RRSP season, you might be inundated with video conference calls, making it hard to stay concentrated. That’s why it’s still so important to take notes (or record the conversation after obtaining your client’s consent) and not let yourself be overwhelmed by the task. We recommend taking a break after each call. You can also email your client a summary of your conversation to ensure that they understood you and agree on the next steps.
- Plan for the unexpected: Do you have a plan B in the event you’re absent, for example due to an accident or illness? In other words, it’s very important to ensure that someone will be there to process your clients’ requests if something unexpected happens.
- Promote good client practices: Ideally, you should discuss RRSPs throughout the year with clients who don’t already make scheduled automatic contributions in order to avoid emergencies and encourage them to make at least some contributions. As many advisors say, RRSP season is every season of the year!
If you have a specific issue, you can also request to speak confidentially with a compliance expert by contacting firstname.lastname@example.org.