Tax Free Savings Account

Employee Benefits

The information provided here is intended as a summary of the more important features of The University of Winnipeg Group TFSA. The benefits and terms and conditions under which they are provided, are governed by the group agreement, and in any dispute the agreement will take precedence over the information provided here

NOTE - While a TFSA (group or individual) may be the ideal way to supplement savings and retirement income for many individuals, it is an investment option that may not be suitable for all individuals.  To determine whether saving through a TFSA is an appropriate investment option for your individual circumstances, the University of Winnipeg recommends that you consult with a financial advisor.


The Tax Free Savings Account Plan was implemented effective January 1, 2019.  The Group TFSA provides a convenient method of saving for retirement or other financial goals with various investment options that have tax-sheltered investment growth.

The information provided here will explain the common guidelines that apply to amounts deposited into a TFSA and describe the basic terms of the program.



You may choose to contribute any amount, subject to Canada Revenue Agency limits.

Under the Income Tax Act there is a maximum dollar amount that can be contributed in a year to all of your TFSAs combined.  Each year, in your Notice of Assessment, or by separate communication, Canada Revenue Agency will advise you of your maximum TFSA contribution limit for the year ($6,000 for 2021).

If you do not use your maximum contribution room, any unused contribution room may be carried forward to future years.

Contributions are generally made through regular payroll deductions, however, you may make a lump sum contribution.

The University of Winnipeg does not make contributions to the Group TFSA on your behalf.

Can I make withdrawals?

Withdrawals and transfers to another TFSA are permitted at any time. 

The first withdrawal per fiscal year will be free of charge.  Any further withdrawals are subject to a charge of $25.00. 

Any withdrawals that you make in a given year will create contribution room the following year.

No tax will be withheld on withdrawals since contributions are made from after-tax income.

Directing Contribution Investments & Default Fund

You have total discretion as to how your contributions are invested. There is a wide selection of investment options for you to choose from that range from conservative (GIC) to aggressive (equities).

If you do not make an active fund selection, your and the University contributions will be credited to the Plan Default fund, which is the Fidelity ClearPath® fund that aligns with your expected retirement year (assuming age 65). 

Plan members are strongly encouraged to make an active and informed fund selection based on their Investment Risk Profile and to periodically review their fund selection.


Beneficiary Designation

In the event of your death the total of your account balances will be paid to your designated beneficiary as a lump sum cash payment.  If your spouse or common-law partner is your beneficiary, he/she may transfer to his/her own TFSA.

Should you wish to change your beneficiary, you have to do so by providing a new beneficiary designation to Desjardins.

Enrolling in the Group TFSA and Changing Contributions

The following employees are eligible to participate in the University of Winnipeg Tax Free Savings Account Plan:

  • Continuing salaried Academic and Support employees;
  • Term salaried Academic and Support employees.

Enrolment to the Group TFSA is made directly through your Desjardins account.

Once you have logged into your Desjardins account (Website), go to My transactions and Managing my account.  Go to Enrol and choose Tax Free Savings Account.

If you are eligible to join the Group TFSA, and do not have an account with Desjardins, please contact Human Resources.

To change your existing payroll deduction contribution amount (increase or decrease) you need to:

Log into your Desjardins account (Website), go to My transactions and Managing my account.  Go to Contribute and modify your amount.

Member Statement

Twice each year, Desjardins produces an account statement showing the contributions made by you into the Group RRSP since the last statement and the total value accumulated to your credit. 

You can access your detailed account information anytime through the member website or by cotacting Desjardins.

Personal Information

The personal information requested of you is required in order to efficiently administer your benefits under the Plan.

 Desjardins Privacy Policy

Benefits of Group TFSA

  • Lower Investment Management Fees. Everyone pays this type of fee when investing in mutual funds. Under the Group TFSA program your fees are lower than what you would pay on your personal investments. Paying lower fees can add up to a significant difference in the value of your investments over time.
  • No loads. No front end or back end loads which means your full contribution is invested.
  • No transaction costs. No cost for account transactions such as investment changes and fund to fund transfers.
  • Investment choice. There is a wide selection of investment options to choose from and range from conservative to aggressive.
  • Account access. Account tools are available at your fingertips through the Desjardins member website or the toll-free number.

Desjardins Contact

Questions?  Contact Desjardins or the University of Winnipeg Human Resources Office.

Fully understanding every aspect of this Plan is almost impossible. We realize, and expect, that from time to time you will have questions.

There are two easy ways to connect with Desjardins.

Call Desjardins from anywhere in Canada or U.S. toll-free at 1-800-968-3587. This number will direct you to a representative who is available to assist you every business day from 7:00 A.M. to 7:00 P.M.

Visit the Plan Member website anytime.