Glossary

  1. Guaranteed investment certificates (GICs) - deposit instruments that pay a predetermined rate of interest for a specified term. They are available from banks, trust companies and other financial institutions and have a maturity of more than one year. GICs may be issued in Canadian dollars or foreign currency.
  2. Guaranteed interest annuities (GIAs) - GIC equivalents issued by life insurance companies. Although the bulk of GIAs are issued with maturities of five years or less (term annuities), these instruments can have terms of up to 15 years. Life annuities have no fixed maturity, but payments cease at the time of death of the annuitant, subject to spousal benefits. The bulk of GIAs are held within RRSPs, RRIFs and annuities accounts, and dominate the guaranteed obligations of life insurance companies commonly known as general funds.