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TD Canada Trust apparently loses customers' RRSP during transition/merger between Toronto Dominion Bank and Canada Trust

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Mar 22, 2018
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It's extremely likely that the couple transferred the account somewhere else and forgot where they moved it to.

They may have also purchased one or more investments which went to zero over the past and the account was then closed for zero balance.

I do however agree though that banks should keep records on file indefinitely (or for 125 years - lifetime of a person) especially for AML purposes. Since everything is digital now, it's much easier to keep records.
[OP]
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Sep 14, 2012
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Thalo wrote: I see in that first couple just a complete misperception of what an RRSP is and what the contribution receipt reflects. I saw this when I worked at a bank too: people were intent on getting those RRSP contribution receipts that were printed on fancy paper, as if they meant something. Back in the Canada Trust days it looks like it was printed on pretty nice carbon copy type stuff. Even in TDCT days it was on 3-part perforated heavier paper, with TD logos sort of watermarked. Sometimes I'd print them out on regular paper and people insisted on the special paper.

In this case, I think the couple thought that the receipt, which really is just proof to provide the CRA of the contribution and isn't really needed anyway when digitally filing, was a certificate of sorts for the RRSP. It's reasonable to expect that if something is "certificated" that the certificate represents proof of the deposit and that no other tracking of the investment was really necessary as long as the certificate was well taken care of (TD doesn't mail statements for their basic deposit RRSPs either). They obviously held on to it, with the assumption that they could provide this proof when they were older to cash in on the RRSP. It's also very possible and likely that at some point they consolidated their RRSPs elsewhere and did transfer this smaller cash RRSP, but forgot. Possibly they had a TD RRSP as well, into which the CT RRSP was combined, and they transferred that RRSP to Scotia without knowing it included the $10K or so originally contributed to CT. They may not have expected it to be so easy without presenting the recipient bank with the "certificate" or something.
My understanding of the RRSP receipts is that the CRA gets a copy of it (even before online filing was made available to the majority of filers). This means that the CRA gets a copy of the RRSP receipt and even if the filer doesn't have the receipt or doesn't claim it, the government will know that the person has overcontributed for example.

Not sure what you mean by "TD doesn't mail statements for their basic deposit RRSPs either". My parents had TD GIC RRSPs and a TD DISA RRSP account and they receive statements by the mail as they've never used telephone banking or internet banking in their life. They get paper statements for all their accounts.

When I first opened an RRSP account with TD (back then, it was Toronto Dominion Bank and was prior to the merger with Canada Trust), I received a statement that was mailed to me as well. I forget how often the statement was mailed to me but I don't believe that it was monthly but was I believe twice per year (they have since changed it to once per year either as an online statement or a mailed statement for their basic RRSP accounts).
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Sep 9, 2012
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lmcjipo wrote: It is an assumption on my part since the receipts that the couple have are from Canada Trust... also the individual person who is suing TD Canada Trust also dealt with Canada Trust.

This makes me think that the apparent loss of funds/investments has something to do with the merger between Toronto Dominion Bank and Canada Trust.
Well, the article quotes the bank saying their digital records show a transfer out in Feb & Mar 1995 for their respective plans. That’s like 5 yrs before the merger.

It was pretty common for people to get an RRSP deposit made at a Canada Trust branch given the generous hours they were open compared to the traditional big banks at that time. CT was 8:00 am - 8:00 pm Monday to Friday and 8:00 - 6:00 on saturdays and that attracted a lot of business around RRSP deadline when people couldnt get to the main bank due to limited hours of like 9:00 - 3:00 or maybe 4:00 or 5:00

What probably happened was the following year they managed to get an appointment at their regular bank to make a contribution before the 1995 deadline. While doing that, their main bank encouraged them to do a transfer of their plan to consolidate their dealings for better service and better rates. Their bank fills out a T2033 Transfer Form with their details and gets them to sign; their bank branch sends it off to CT and a few weeks later CT closes the plan, codes it as a transfer, and sends a cheque with the proceeds to their main bank. Their bank cashes the cheque and adds the funds to the bank RRSP and codes it as a transfer.

Source - worked in CT branches in that era.

The day after the deadline we’d know how much we brought in and processed for new deposits and new RRSP loans but we wouldn’t know how our campaign actually went until after March month-end. We’d have an idea of what to expect coming in from T2033 transfers in and we’d follow up on big ones to make sure they’d get counted in before month end for them to count in the campaign. Unfortunately, T2033s can go both ways and we’d lose funds on transfers going out to competitors.

Based on my experience the above explanation is what happened and it meshes with what TD said they have records of and it meshes with my own hands on knowledge of RRSP season in the ‘90s. It also meshes with their recollection. They said that they never authorized TD to do transfers but that’s because they signed the transfer forms at their own bank amongst whatever other paperwork they signed for their next yearly deposit. They don’t remember because (a) it’s a flurry of paperwork and (b) their main intent was to make sure they made a new yearly contribution and they were relieved when that was done and (c) their bank did it all for them and they never set foot in or dealt with CT after they made their contribution.
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lmcjipo wrote: My understanding of the RRSP receipts is that the CRA gets a copy of it (even before online filing was made available to the majority of filers). This means that the CRA gets a copy of the RRSP receipt and even if the filer doesn't have the receipt or doesn't claim it, the government will know that the person has overcontributed for example.

Not sure what you mean by "TD doesn't mail statements for their basic deposit RRSPs either". My parents had TD GIC RRSPs and a TD DISA RRSP account and they receive statements by the mail as they've never used telephone banking or internet banking in their life. They get paper statements for all their accounts.

When I first opened an RRSP account with TD (back then, it was Toronto Dominion Bank and was prior to the merger with Canada Trust), I received a statement that was mailed to me as well. I forget how often the statement was mailed to me but I don't believe that it was monthly but was I believe twice per year (they have since changed it to once per year either as an online statement or a mailed statement for their basic RRSP accounts).
What is it once a year statements for the RSP/DISA? In any case, that couple didn't expect statements, so didn't think anything amiss when they didn't get anything.

I guess the closest equivalent to the misperception I described above is that they couple thought that they were "buying RRSPs" the same way people back in the day bought Canadian Sales Bonds. That's why to them the contribution receipt was perceived as a "certificate" of the RSPs they "bought" and they simply stored it safely, perhaps alongside their CSBs. CSB certificates you bring to a bank teller to cash in. This may be how they thought the RSPs worked.
Money Smarts Blog wrote: I agree with the previous posters, especially Thalo. {And} Thalo's advice is spot on.
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Thalo wrote: What is it once a year statements for the RSP/DISA? In any case, that couple didn't expect statements, so didn't think anything amiss when they didn't get anything.

I guess the closest equivalent to the misperception I described above is that they couple thought that they were "buying RRSPs" the same way people back in the day bought Canadian Sales Bonds. That's why to them the contribution receipt was perceived as a "certificate" of the RSPs they "bought" and they simply stored it safely, perhaps alongside their CSBs. CSB certificates you bring to a bank teller to cash in. This may be how they thought the RSPs worked.
Currently, a statement is sent once a year for an RRSP account which is created at the branch level (by this I mean holding only GICs and a daily interest savings account since they are under the same plan number). In the past, I believe that it was more often but it was not as frequent as monthly. It was either quarterly or bi-annually. I still have such an account at TD Canada Trust with a very low balance and receive a yearly statement (but my statement is online). My parents have since converted their TD RRSP bank accounts to a RIF and I believe that they still get the same annual statements by snail mail except it now says "RRIF" instead of "RRSP"

Even my old company RRSP plan with ManuLife was sending me annual statements when I no longer worked at the company (and didn't work for them in ~8 years... until I decided to consolidate this and move it to TD Direct Investing).

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