What is an RESP?

Registered Education Savings Plan (RESP) is a government-registered savings plan that helps you save for your child’s post-secondary education.

The money that you invest in an RESP grows tax-deferred, and the federal government helps contribute to your savings along the way in the form of education grants.

When your child enrols at a qualifying post-secondary institution and you are ready to withdraw the funds for educational purposes, the payments made using these funds are known as Educational Assistance Payments (EAPs).

Tax is applied to the investment income and government grants received when withdrawn from the RESP, not on the contributions you made using your own funds. These amounts are taxed in the hands of the student, and this usually means little or no tax will be paid, because students typically fall into the lowest tax bracket.

How do RESPs help my money grow?

  • The sooner you start an RESP for your child, the more time your contributions will have the chance to grow.
  • The Canada Education Savings Grant (CESG) matches 20% of annual contributions, up to $500 per year
  • The matching contributions can continue until the lifetime limit of $7,200 per child has been reached
  • Investing your Canada Child Benefit could help you save enough to qualify for the maximum CESG amount

Government-funded education grants

The Government of Canada encourages saving for a child's education by offering grants to a child’s RESP – that’s even more money to grow your savings!

The basic Canada Education Savings Grant (CESG) tops up your annual contribution by 20%, up to $500 per beneficiary each year to a lifetime limit of $7,200 per beneficiary. Additional CESG grants may be available, depending on your income. For example, if your net family income is $60,000, and you contribute $2,000 in a year, the government CESG contributes an additional $450 to the child’s RESP.

2022 Summary of basic and additional CESG

CESG rate on first $500 (or less) in contributions per year

CESG rate on contributions above $500 per year**

Family net income*: $50,197 or less

40% (basic CESG + 20% additional CESG***)

20% (basic CESG)

Family net income*: $50,197 - $100,392

30% (basic CESG + 10% additional CESG)

20% (basic CESG)

Family net income*: More than $100,392

20% (basic CESG)

20% (basic CESG)

* Subject to change. Date modified July 7th, 2022.
** Subject to the annual CESG limit.
*** If available in your RESP.

This grant is available to children born on or after January 1, 2004, whose families are eligible to receive the National Child Benefit Supplement. The Canada Learning Bond (CLB) can add up to $2,000 per child to your RESP.

The Québec Education Savings Incentive (QESI) was established to encourage Québec families to save for post-secondary education.

The British Columbia Training and Education Savings Grant (BCTESG) is a one-time savings incentive to encourage B.C. families to start planning for their children's education.

* If available in your RESP plan

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