Much of the financial investment and savings advice I come across is U.S.-centric, so I always have to ask myself things like “what’s the Canadian equivalent to a 401(k), again?”
Here’s my reference sheet. Making it public to hopefully help some other Canadians interested in personal financial management.
**Note: This is an _incredibly basic_ “equivalence” list. Different laws dictate how each investment vehicle works in each country (and even different states/provinces). This is just how the overall concept of each vehicle generally equates in my mind with many many caveats involved (see the TFSA vs Roth IRA, for instance).**
U.S. term | Canadian term | Definition
——— | ————- | ———-
IRA | RRSP/RSP | pre-tax vehicle can hold non-cash investments; annual limit carries over.
Roth IRA | TFSA | after-tax investment vehicle with annual contribution limit; **in Canada** it can hold cash and the annual limit carries over.
529 plan | RESP | pre-tax contributions that save toward education goals of recipient of the plan
401(k) | _defined contribution_ pension | [Wikipedia article](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Defined_contribution_plan)
401(a) | _defined benefit_ pension | [Wikipedia article](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Defined_benefit_pension_plan)
Terms I have yet to match are left blank. If I miss or misstate something in this table, let me know in the comments and I’ll update it.