Registered Education Savings Plans (RESPs) are one of the best ways to help you, your children, or your grandchildren make the dream of college or university a possibility. RESP's are:

Flexible: Anyone can open and contribute to an RESP, and there are options available should your beneficiary choose not to pursue post-secondary education. Funds can be used to cover an array of post-secondary expenses; including tuition fees, textbooks, and room and board. A minimum contribution of only $25 per month is required.

Tax-sheltered: You do not need to pay tax on any investment income associated with RESPs. Withdrawals are taxed to the student beneficiary at his or her marginal tax rate which is typically in the lowest tax bracket.

Government grants available: Opening an RESP and making regular contributions qualifies you for government grants such as the Canada Education Savings Grant (CESG) and the Canada Learning Bond (CLB).

Canada Education Savings Grant (CESG)

The Canada Education Savings Grant (CESG) is money that the Government adds to an RESP. This money helps to pay the costs of a child’s full- or part-time studies after high school, up to a lifetime maximum of $7,200.

Canada Learning Bond (CLB)

The Canada Learning Bond (CLB) is money that the Government adds to an RESP for children from low-income families. This money helps to pay the costs of a child’s full- or part-time studies, up to $2000. No personal contributions are required to receive the CLB.

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Anyone can contribute to an RESP. You will just need a valid SIN (Social Insurance Number) to apply.

Individual plan: you can contribute to the RESP for 31 years following the year the plan was opened.

Family plan: contributions under a family plan must cease upon the beneficiary turning 31.

*To qualify for government grants under both individual and family plans, you must make contributions by the end of the year the beneficiary turns 17.

The lifetime contribution limit for an RESP is $50,000 per beneficiary.

The subscriber is the person who opens the RESP and is the registered owner of the plan. Anyone can open an RESP – a parent, grandparent, family friend, or joint subscribers such as spouses.

How much you can earn from federal and provincial government grants will depend on a number of factors.

  • How much you contribute
  • When you contribute – early, regular contributions benefit from compounding growth on government grants
  • Where you live – not all provincial governments provide grants
  • Your family income

The subscriber can request educational assistance payments to cover expenses associated with attending a qualifying post-secondary educational program. These payments are taxable to the beneficiary at his or her marginal tax rate.

An RESP must be terminated by the end of the 35th year following the year the RESP was opened.

If a beneficiary does not pursue post-secondary education, there are several options for the RESP plan:

  • Change the plan’s beneficiary
  • Transfer the funds to another RESP
  • Collapse the plan

*If you choose #3, you will have to return the unused government grants (CESG, CLB). The RESP contributions can be withdrawn without penalty.

*Some restrictions and/or penalties may apply to all options.

Our RESP investment offerings include mutual funds offered through Aviso Wealth or in guaranteed investments available through Concentra®. If you prefer to self-manage your investments, Qtrade Direct Investing® empowers you to reach your investment goals through one of Canada’s best online brokers.
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Mutual funds and other securities are offered through Aviso Wealth, a division of Aviso Financial Inc. Commissions, trailing commissions, management fees and expenses all may be associated with mutual fund investments. Please read the prospectus before investing. Unless otherwise stated, mutual funds, other securities and cash balances are not covered by the Canada Deposit Insurance Corporation or by any other government deposit insurer that insures deposits in credit unions. Online brokerage services are offered through Qtrade Direct Investing, a division of Aviso Financial Inc. Qtrade and Qtrade Direct Investing are trade names and/or trademarks of Aviso Wealth Inc. and its subsidiaries.

The information on this page is provided as a general source of information and shouldn’t be considered personal investment advice or a solicitation to buy or sell any mutual funds or other securities. When in doubt, it’s always a good idea to consult with a financial advisor for personalized information and guidance. 

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