A Locked-In Retirement Account (LIRA), and the virtually identical Locked-in Retirement Savings Plan (LRSP), are Canadian investment accounts designed specifically to hold locked-in pension funds for former plan members, former spouses or common-law partners, or surviving spouses or partners. Funds held inside LIRAs/LRSPs will normally only become available (or "unlocked") to holders upon retirement.
The distinction between a LIRA/LRSP and an RRSP is that, where RRSPs can be cashed in at any time, a LIRA/LRSP cannot. Instead, the investment held in the locked-in account is "locked-in" and cannot be removed until either retirement or a specified age outlined in the applicable pension legislation (though certain exceptions exist). Another important distinction between regular RRSPs and LIRAs/LRSPs is that once funds have been transferred from a company pension plan to a LIRA/LRSP, further contributions cannot be made into said LIRA/LRSP. Any monetary amounts earned in the LIRA/LRSP through investment are also considered to be locked-in.