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A guaranteed investment fund is similar in nature to mutual funds, in that it is a group of assets put together by a portfolio manager with the goal of meeting specific investment objectives. The difference is that this fund is offered by insurance companies and the assets can be invested in an equity, bond and/or [...]

The Grantor Retained Annuity Trust is an estate planning tool that decreases the tax liability that occurs when a there is an inter-generational transfer of assets. By using such plans it is possible to create a temporary irrevocable trust; when the trust expires, the beneficiary gets a tax free disbursement. The goal of a GRAT [...]

Benefits, which increase as an employee accrues more time at a company, fall under the category of graduated vesting. Federal law mandates a vesting schedule, but a graduated approach may be chosen by employers for the portion they contribute to private retirement plans. When a graduated vesting schedule is used, the employer’s contribution vests over [...]

Vesting is a process through which employer contributions to an employee retirement plan become owned by the employee. With graded vesting, an employee must become vested by at least 20% of their benefits after a specified period. An additional 20% becomes vested each subsequent year. How long that initial period is depends upon how the [...]

The GSRA or Government-Sponsored Retirement Arrangement is a Canadian retirement plan designed for people who are paid by public funds but are not part of the local, provincial or federal government. Not registered with the Canadian Revenue Agency, the regulations placed upon GSRAs decrease how much of a person’s retirement fund qualifies for tax deferred [...]