GIC Centre FAQ

Considering a Guaranteed Investment Certificate (GIC)? Here are answers to the most common questions we receive.

 

If one of your priorities is to safeguard your funds while earning a predictable and stable rate of return, GICs are a great option.

A fixed-term GIC returns your original investment, together with the interest you’ve earned, at the maturity date. Terms range from 1 to 5 years. Choose a cashable GIC to withdraw funds after just 30 to 90 days without penalty.

One of our financial professionals will contact you to discuss options. You tell us what you would like to do with your money once the investment reaches maturity. Your options may be to:

  • redeem the GIC by receiving the maturity cheque
  • renew the GIC for the same term, and at the current interest rate, or make different terms to reinvest

Yes, GICs are held by deposit insurance institutions, including banks, trust companies, and other regulated financial institutions. The GIC Centre works with such institutions as Access Credit Union, Sunshine Coast Credit Union, Belgian-Alliance, Entegra Credit Union, First Ontario Credit Union, Aldergrove Credit Union and Equitable Bank.

Keep in mind that your funds will be locked-in until the GIC matures. You can choose from a term from 30 days to 10 years. 

Make sure you will not need the money before the maturity date. Or, consider a cashable GIC, that allows you to access your money in as little as 30 days. 

Note that if you choose a term over 5 years, your GIC may not be insured.

The interest earned on your GIC is considered part of your income. You will be taxed, payable to both provincial and federal governments. Interest is taxed annually, regardless of term length.

You can defer or completely eliminate taxes on the interest you earn by holding a GIC in a registered plan, such as a Registered Retirement Savings Plan (RRSP) or Tax-Free Savings Account (TFSA).

Speak to one of our financial professionals for more information.

GICs can be included in registered plans, such as RRSPs, TFSAs, or RIFs. Contribution limits and eligibility requirements apply.

GICs are a fixed-term investment; it is not possible to redeem one prior to maturity. If you think you will need the money before the maturity date, consider a shorter-term GIC, or a cashable GIC.

Stocks may provide higher returns than GICs over certain periods of time, but those returns are never guaranteed, and depend on many variables. GICs are much safer than stocks—they are by definition—guaranteed.

With bonds, you lend money to a government or corporation in exchange for a certain coupon or interest rate. A bond can fluctuate daily as they are traded on the open market.

GICs are not traded daily like bonds. There is no price or yield fluctuation, as with bonds. The only factor that may affect your return is the terms of the GIC.

Have a question not listed? Get in touch with one of our advisors who can assist you: