You can unlock your pension for financial hardship

The owner of an Ontario locked-in account must complete and submit an application for financial hardship unlocking to the financial institution which holds and administers the locked-in account. There are four Forms; one for each category of financial hardship. All applications must be made based on one of these four categories. Applications can be made under different categories but the form that applies to that category must be used.

Financial Hardship Unlocking Forms

  1. Financial Hardship Unlocking – FORM FHU 4 – Application for Low Expected Income
  2. Financial Hardship Unlocking – FORM FHU 3 – Application for First and Last Months’ Rent for a Principal Residence
  3. Financial Hardship Unlocking – FORM FHU 2 – Application for Arrears of Rent or Secured Debt (Mortgage) on a Principal Residence
  4. Financial Hardship Unlocking – FORM FHU 1 – Application for Medical Expenses, including Renovations to a Principal Residence for Medical Reasons

Form 5: Instructions and Form for Applications to Financial Institutions for Access to Locked-in Accounts

This form is used by the owner of an Ontario locked-in account (LIRA, LIF, LRIF) to apply to a financial institution to withdraw or transfer money from the account. In general, applications for withdrawal of all or part of the money in an Ontario locked-in account can be made based on one or more of the following criteria:

    • a life expectancy of two years or less;
    • age 55 or older and the value of fund in all locked-in accounts is less than 40% of the Year’s Maximum Pensionable Earnings;
    • amounts transferred to the locked-in account exceed the federal Income Tax Act limits;
    • non-resident of Canada and 24 months have passed since your departure from Canada.


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