On November 28, 2008, the government announced that it was lowering the minimum withdrawal rules for RRIFs retroactively for 2008 only. The intent was to provide some relief to seniors who would have withdrawn their RRIF funds before the market crash in October 2008.
The proposed rule change reduces the minimum RRIF withdrawal amount for 2008 by 25%. Since the minimum withdrawal amount for 2008 was based on the RRIF balance on January 1st, 2008 and many seniors has already withdrawn their minimums for the year, the proposal includes a provision to allow seniors to re-contribute up to 25% of their original RRIF minimum back to an RRSP or their RRIF. This re-contribution may be made until March 1st or 30 days following the changes receiving Royal Assent (whichever is later).
The CRA is permitting financial institutions to allow the se re-contributions before the legislation take passes and is in essence is administering the rules as if they were law. At the time of writing, the legislation had passed second reading and need only pass third reading and receive Royal Assent before becoming law.
For more infomration see the CRA Q&A here .