Desjardins invites members and clients to open a tax-free savings account today



    LEVIS, QC, Oct. 30 /CNW Telbec/ - Desjardins Group is offering investors
who don't want to wait until the last minute to start making contributions to
a tax-free savings account (TFSA), the opportunity to start saving today. To
get started, Desjardins members and clients are invited to deposit money in a
savings product as of now, in order to contribute to a TFSA on January 1,
2009.

    
    An extensive range of savings products is already eligible and available
for the TFSA:

    - Guaranteed investments at attractive fixed rates: Redeemable Term
      Savings (which can be redeemed at any time), Climbing-Rate Term
      Savings, etc.
    - Market-linked Guaranteed Investments and Profile Guaranteed Investment
      Portfolios
    - Desjardins Funds, including Diapason Portfolios (can be opened in
      January 2009)
    - Helios guaranteed investment fund contract
    - Market-traded products

    Introduced by the federal government in its 2008 budget, the TFSA is a new
registered savings vehicle that will allow Desjardins members and clients aged
18 and over to save up to $5,000 per year, tax-sheltered.
    Investment income generated in a TFSA (interest, dividends and capital
gains), as well as any withdrawals made from the account will not be taxed.
Plus, exclusive to Desjardins, some investment products eligible for the TFSA
will entitle holders to a member dividend.

    RRSP or TFSA?

    Because it complements the RRSP, the TFSA brings additional financial
leverage to an overall investment strategy. Desjardins advisors, whether
contacted at a caisse or through AccèsD, have the necessary expertise to
properly inform and guide consumers in choosing the financial products that
best correspond to their personal investment objectives.

    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
                             TFSA                      RRSP
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Deadline for             None                      The year of your 71st
    contributions                                                   birthday.
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Contribution limit      $5,000 for 2009, then      18% of income earned
                            adjusted by $500 incre-    the previous year,
                            ments according to the     up to $21,000 for
                            Consumer Price Index.      2009.
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Contributions income    No                         Yes
    tax deductible?
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Withdrawals             Non-taxable                Taxable
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Investment income       No                         No
    taxable?
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Impact of withdrawals   None                       Added to taxable
    on benefits from social                            income.
    programs
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Do withdrawals          Yes, equal to the amount   No
    increase contribution   withdrawn.
    room?
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Contributions to        No. However, money you     Yes, the contributing
    spouse's account        give your spouse to        spouse benefits from
    allowed?                contribute to a TFSA       the reduction in the
                            is not subject to          calculation of their
                            attribution rules.         taxable income, even
                                                       if they are not the
                                                       beneficiary.
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Taxable upon death?     No. Amounts generated      Yes, except if rolled
                            prior to death can be      over to spouse, or
                            rolled over to the         to minor or disabled
                            spouse tax-free.           child.
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Can it be used as       Yes                        No
    collateral for a loan?
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Over-contributions      No                         Yes, up to $2,000.
    allowed?
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    

    TFSA information sessions

    Many caisses and branches are organizing TFSA information sessions for
their members. For more information about these sessions, members should
contact their caisse or branch directly. Furthermore, on November 12,
Carrefour Desjardins, located at 1241 rue Peel in Montréal, will be holding
two TFSA information sessions, each followed by a question period. The first,
intended for members of the public, will be held from 12 p.m. to 2 p.m. (a
light lunch will be provided). The second will be held from 5:30 p.m. to
7:30 p.m. (refreshments will be served).
    As space is limited, we invite all those interested in attending one of
the sessions to register by calling 514-875-4266, ext. 8814.
    We would also like to mention that as of January 1, 2009, Desjardins
Financial Security (DFS)-Desjardins Group's life and health insurance
subsidiary-will be offering group retirement savings plan sponsors the
possibility of setting up a TFSA as part of their group plan. Individual
clients of DFS and its subsidiaries SFL Partner of Desjardins Financial
Security and DFSIN will also be able to open a TFSA.

    About Desjardins Group

    Desjardins Group is the largest cooperative financial group in Canada,
with overall assets of nearly $152 billion, as at June 30, 2008. It comprises
a network of caisses, credit unions and business centres in Québec and
Ontario, and some twenty subsidiary companies in life and general insurance,
securities brokerage, venture capital and asset management, many of which are
active across the country. Drawing on the expertise of its 40,000 employees
and the commitment of more than 6,500 elected officers, Desjardins offers its
5.8 million individual and corporate members and clients a full range of
financial products and services. Its physical distribution network is
complemented by leading-edge virtual access methods. To find out more, consult
www.desjardins.com.




For further information:

For further information: (for journalists only): Caroline Phémius,
Advisor, Information and Media Relations, (514) 281-7646, 1-866-866-7000, ext.
7646, caroline.phemius@desjardins.com


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