The Registered Retirement Savings Plan, or RRSP, was introduced to Canadians in 1957. Before that only people with company-sponsored retirement savings plans could deduct contributions for tax purposes.
Many changes have been made to the Plan over the years: the contribution limit has been upped from the lesser of 10% or $2,500, originally, to their current levels; spousal RRSPs were modified; RRIFs were introduced; age limits were changed; carrying-forward unused room was introduced in the 1990s; etc.
By far the biggest change to the RRSP landscape didn’t affect RRSPs directly at all. It was the introduction, in 2009, of the Tax-Free Savings Account, or TFSA. This was the biggest single event in Canadian retirement planning since Diefenbaker was in Parliament.