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Who is this for?

Anyone who has children or grandchildren planning to attend a post-secondary institution can take advantage of a Registered Education Savings Plan (RESP). There are two main types of RESPs: individual plans and family plans.1

A family plan allows for more than one beneficiary, meaning it may be the best option if you have more than one child. Under a family plan, the children must be either related by blood or through adoption. An individual plan, meanwhile, has one beneficiary and anyone can make contributions.

How will this help me?

It’s simple: An RESP can help you save for a child’s post-secondary education. And that’s becoming increasingly important: according to the Government of Canada, full-time students currently pay an average of $16,600 for post-secondary schooling per year. Over the course of a four-year program, that amounts to $66,400.2 And should a child decide to continue on to graduate school – such as a master’s program or law school – the amount will increase further.

The RESP is here to help. Through the Canada Education Savings Grant (CESG), the federal government will match 20% of the first $2,500 you save in your child’s RESP each year until the end of the calendar year they reach age 17. The maximum lifetime CESG is $7,200 per child. Overall, through the RESP you could set aside up to $50,000 per beneficiary.

What else do I need to know?

Your investment options

Once you open an RESP, you’ll need to decide on the types of investments used in the plan. Investment options include mutual funds, guaranteed interest certificates (GICs) and more.

Alternative pathways

Not everyone will pursue a post-secondary education. If you’ve been setting money aside in an RESP for someone who chooses not to continue their education after high school, you can wait up to see if they change their mind. If they don’t, you have the option to transfer the money to your own RRSP or an RESP for someone else.3

1The regulations concerning contributions may differ based on the beneficiary’s age. Your financial security advisor can help you understand these rules.
2 Cost of post-secondary education, Government of Canada.
3 Some conditions apply. For more, talk to your financial security advisor.  

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