Retirement Compensation Arrangements (RCAs)

A Retirement Compensation Arrangement (RCA) is an extremely specialized tool for improving pension income for high income earners. Typically, you'd start with RRSPs and then Individual Pension Plans (IPPs) before considering an RCA.


  • a supplemental executive retirement plan (SERP)
    • a promise by the employer to provide supplementary retirement benefits to bridge the gap between the retirement benefit provided by statutory plans and the expected retirement benefit based on the executive’s final average earnings
  • may not be funded —> not attractive to executive
  • executive’s pension income expectations may exceed the maximum benefits available under statutory plans
    • earnings may exceed the statutory limit for maximum plan contributions
    • may lack the years of service required for a full pension

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