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RRSP contributions are tax deductible and taxes are deferred until the money is withdrawn. An RRSP can contain stocks, bonds, mutual funds, GICs, contracts and even mortgage-backed equity.

RRSPs have two main tax advantages:

1. Contributors deduct contributions against their income. For example, if a contributor’s tax rate is 40%, every $100 he or she invests in an RRSP will save that person $40 in taxes, up to his or her contribution limit.

2. The growth of RRSP investments is tax sheltered. Unlike with non-RRSP investments, returns are exempt from any capital-gains tax, dividend tax or income tax. This means that investments under RRSPs compound at a pretax rate.