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3. Carry forward your contribution
If you do not receive the entire grant amount each year, any unused grant room accumulates and carries forward until the beneficiary turns 17. However, you can only use the contribution room of the previous year each time – this allows you to benefit from the full government grant amount even if you do happen to miss your contribution targets at any point.
The carry-forward option allows you to take advantage of the CESG even if you've delayed investing in an RESP or have been unable to make the required contributions to receive the maximum grant amount each year. With the carry-forward option, you can contribute more toward the current year by using contribution room left over from a previous year. However, you’re only allowed to use unused contribution room from one previous year. For example, if you’re contributing in 2022, you will be able to use any unused contribution room from 2021, but you won't be able to use the combined unused contribution room from 2021 and 2020.
However, to be eligible for the grant money, you should open an RESP before your child turns 15 and ensure that you've met the required minimum contribution levels.