RESP Series

Are You Leaving Money on the Table?

3 min read

Brought to you by Sound Choices - AGF Education for Investors and Advisors

Did you know RESP (Registered Education Savings Plan) savings can be supplemented with government education savings initiatives, with the main one being the Canada Education Savings Grant (CESG) paid by the federal government?

Key Facts about the Canada Education Savings Grant (CESG)

  • All RESPs are eligible for Basic CESG
  • The Government of Canada will match a percentage of your RESP contributions by depositing the CESG directly into the RESP
  • $500 each year (20% of the first $2,500 of annual contributions per beneficiary)
  • Up to $1,000 if carry-forward room is available (grant room is cumulative and can be carried forward). So if you cannot make a contribution in any given year, you can carry over unused Basic CESG.
  • CESG paid into a Family Plan RESP may be used by any beneficiary of the RESP to a lifetime maximum of $7,200 per beneficiary – this includes both the Basic and Additional CESG

What determines if you are eligible for the CESG?


How much of a difference can the CESG make?* 

Family #1 – no CESG

  • Invested $100 bi-weekly into a non-registered account
  • This investment doesn’t qualify for the Canada Education Savings Grant (CESG)

Family #2 – RESP with CESG

  • Also invested $100 bi-weekly – but into an RESP account
  • This investment qualifies for the CESG – 20% of their monthly contributions

Do you qualify for additional education savings grants?

Additional CESG is available to qualifying families**:

Family Income CESG Available
$0–$53,359 $600:
$500 (Basic CESG) +
$100 (additional 20% on the first $500 of annual contributions per beneficiary)
$53,360–$106,717 $550:
$500 (Basic CESG) +
$50 (additional 10% on the first $500 of annual contributions per beneficiary)

How do I apply for the CESG?

  • Ensure your tax returns are up to date
  • Open and contribute to an RESP with the child named as a beneficiary – make sure the RESP promoter allows for the Additional CESG payment as not all do
  • Complete the CESG application form. Your RESP provider will then request the CESG. 

Once the application is approved, the appropriate amount will be deposited directly into that RESP.

Reasons for not receiving grant/bond monies on contributions to an RESP

Review your RESP statement transactions carefully to confirm 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:

  • Missing/incomplete grant/bond application form(s)
  • Missing/invalid beneficiary, subscriber and/or primary caregiver information or cases where this information does not match government records
  • Lifetime grant/bond or contribution limits have been exceeded
  • Grant/bond was paid to another RESP in the name of the same beneficiary
  • Annual contribution limit was exceeded for contributions made before 2007
  • Additional CESG, CLB, additional QESI, SAGES, and BCTESG are refused because not all beneficiaries in a Family RESP are siblings
  • Additional CESG is denied because a beneficiary has been tainted by a contribution withdrawal made for non-educational purposes
  • System/filing or administrative/processing errors
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 Student Financial Assistance.

Talk to a financial advisor to learn how they can help you and visit

And, if you have an AGF RESP, your financial advisor has access to a CESG calculator that can help determine how much needs to be contributed to an RESP, per beneficiary, to obtain the current calendar year's maximum CESG grant.


* Source: AGF Investments Inc. Performance returns presented are hypothetical and for illustrative purposes only. It does not represent actual performance nor does it guarantee future performance. The rate of return shown is used only to illustrate the effects of the compound growth rate and is not intended to reflect future values or returns. Assumptions were made in the calculation of these returns including that both examples are based on bi-weekly contributions of $100 (for a total of $2,600 over 12 months) and exclude fees. For the RESP example, Family #2 received the Canada Education Savings Grant of 20% of contributions to a maximum of $500 per year. Family #1 invested in a non-registered account that consisted of only interest earnings and assumes a marginal tax rate of 40%. Family #1 paid taxes on their non-registered investment at the beginning of the 17th week each year except the first year. Growth of investments for both families is based on the assumption of a 6% average annual compound rate of return over 18 years. Any taxes due, trading costs and other fees associated with the portfolios are not included and trading prices and frequency implicit in the hypothetical performance may differ from what may have actually been realized at the time given prevailing market conditions.
** Source: Canada Education Savings Program, Information Bulletin #CESP/PCEE-2022/23-005-972, December 1, 2022. Dollar amounts are updated annually based in part on the rate of inflation.
Commissions, trailing commissions, management fees and expenses all may be associated with investment fund investments. Please read the prospectus before investing. Investment funds are not guaranteed, their values change frequently and past performance may not be repeated.
This material is for informational and educational purposes only. It is not a recommendation of any specific investment product, strategy, or decision, and is not intended to suggest taking or refraining from any course of action. It is not intended to address the needs, circumstances, and of any specific investor. This information is not meant as tax or legal advice. Investors should consult a financial advisor and/or tax professional before making investment, financial and/or tax-related decisions.
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September 22, 2023