A good post-secondary education can be the key to unlocking life's opportunities. Over 90% of parents with children up to the age of five expect them to attend a post-secondary institution. 1 However, as the cost of living increases over time, so do education expenses at post-secondary institutions. In fact, in 15 to 20 years, the estimated cost of a four-year education away from home may be between $75,000 - $100,000.2
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RESPs can be supplemented with the following grants:
The CESG grant was introduced in 1998 to boost RESP investments.
With the CESG, the Canadian government matches 20% of the first $2,500/year contributed to an RESP on behalf of an eligible beneficiary, up to a maximum of $7,200 for the plan's lifetime. CESG matching stops at the end of the calendar year in which the beneficiary turns 17.3
Additional CESG matching rates increase to 30% on the first $500 of annual contributions for families who are receiving the Canadian Child Tax Benefit (CCTB) for the beneficiary in question and whose family net annual income in 2016 is between $45,283 and $90,563; and to 40% for families with family net annual income of $45,282 or less. 4
For complete CESG guidelines, visit Employment and Social Development Canada.
One month after the birth of their first child on July 31, 1990, Mr. and Mrs. Allan started contributing $100 per month into an RESP. By the time their child was seven, contributions had grown to a total of $10,109.
In 1998 the CESG was introduced and their child was eligible to receive an additional contribution of $20 towards the plan. By the time their child was ready to enroll in university at age 18, the contributions had reached a total of $31,426.
Canada Learning Bond (CLB)
The CLB is for families who receive the National Child Benefit Supplement (NCBS)
Children born after December 31, 2003, can receive a $500 bond and an additional $100 annually up to the age of 15 in each year their family is entitled to the NCBS. Over time, the CLB provides up to $2000 in grant money (plus interest) for post-secondary education.
The CLB is paid into an RESP established by a subscriber. In recognition of the cost of establishing an RESP, an additional $25 will be paid with the initial $500 bond. No contributions are required to receive the CLB.
Alberta Centennial Education Savings Plan (ACES)
The Alberta Government announced the closing of the ACES program as of March 31, 2015 and ceased accepting new applications as of July 31, 2015. ACES was available for EAP withdrawals until the end of 2015 and effective January 1, 2016 the remainder was converted to accumulated income and is no longer considered ACES.
Quebec Education Savings Incentive (QESI)
The Quebec Education Savings Incentive (QESI) is a tax measure that encourages families residing in Quebec to start saving early for their children's post-secondary education. The incentive, available to beneficiaries under age 18, went into effect on February 21, 2007 and consists of a refundable tax credit, paid directly into an RESP.
Each year, a RESP beneficiary can receive an amount equal to 10% of the net contributions, up to a maximum of $250. For low income families, an increase of up to $50 per beneficiary per year (calculated on the basis of family income) may be added to the basic amount. The lifetime limit per beneficiary is $3,600.
To be entitled to the QESI, the beneficiary must meet all of the following conditions:
For more information, please refer to the Revenu Quebec site at:
Saskatchewan Advantage Grant for Education Savings (SAGES)
SAGES was introduced by the Government of Saskatchewan in 2013 to help families living in Saskatchewan save for post-secondary education. SAGES pays at a rate of 10% on contributions made in respect of eligible beneficiaries to an RESP, up to $250 per year per beneficiary. Subscribers can catch up on unused grant room up to an annual limit of $500. The lifetime maximum SAGES is $4,500 per beneficiary.
To be eligible for SAGES the following requirements must be met:
To apply for SAGES, subscribers must open an RESP for an eligible beneficiary with a participating SAGES promoter and complete the SAGES application form.
British Columbia training and education savings grant (bctesg)
BCTESG was implemented by the Government of British Columbia on August 15, 2015 to help families living in BC save for post-secondary education. BCTESG is a $1,200 one-time grant per eligible beneficiary born on or after January 1, 2007 and resident in BC (with a custodial parent or a legal guardian who is also a resident) at the time of the BCTESG application. When an eligible child turns six years old, the subscriber may be able to apply for the grant until the beneficiary turns nine years old.
For more information visit British Columbia Education & Training or Employment and Social Development Canada.
Pursue Higher Learning with AGF RESPs
It is imperative that you review your RESP statement transactions with care with respect to the government grant(s)/bond amounts received. Even if all the eligibility criteria has been met for the grant/bond in question, there are a number of reasons you may not have been paid the full amount owing on your contributions. These include:
You must notify us immediately if you notice that you have not been paid the full grant/bond amount expected. Please note that if the error is not corrected within 3 years of the contribution date, the government will not pay the grant/bond money owing on the contribution in question. More information on RESPs and grant/bond eligibility criteria can be found at www.canlearn.ca.
1 Statistics Canada, 2002.
2 Source: CanLearn 2006 (Includes tuition, books and living expenses.)
3 Special conditions apply for those who are between the ages of 15 and 17.
4 Dollar amounts are updated annually based in part on the rate of inflation.