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RESPs 101

Not only has the cost of university risen sharply, but so has the importance of graduating with a marketable skill and knowledge set. In 2016, the cost of tuition, books, supplies, residence and travel for a student in an undergraduate program at a Canadian public university is approximately $20,000 per year.

For many new grandparents, Registered Education Savings Plans (RESPs) were not as commonly known as when their children passed through post-secondary education.

If you want to conscientiously pass wealth between generations and help minimize your grandkids’ debt load in the future, opening and contributing to an RESP on behalf of your grandchildren is an excellent option.

What you need to know

The opportunity to set aside a useful inheritance directly to your grandchildren for the expressed purpose of education is extremely appealing for many.

Although more in-depth analysis may be required to understand the eligibility for the Canadian Education Savings Grant (CESG), the quick RESP facts are:

  •  The CESG will match 20% of RESP contributions up to a maximum of $500/year per beneficiary and to a maximum of $7200 lifetime per beneficiary.
  • There are no minimum or maximum annual RESP contributions, but each beneficiary has a $50,000 lifetime contribution limit.
  • Contributions grow tax-free until they are withdrawn, like an RRSP.
  • Contributions are not taxed at withdrawal, only the grants and earnings withdrawn, called Education Assistance Payments (EAP) are taxed.
  • EAPs are taxed in the hands of the student, typically a lower income tax rate or no tax at all if their income is low enough

EAPs can be used for education-related expenses, including housing and transportation, when enrolled at any eligible domestic or foreign post-secondary institution or training program. You can contribute to an RESP up to its 31st year and it can stay open for 35 years.

Bottom Line

Canadian Education Savings Grants (CESG) provide an annual $500 and lifetime $7200 incentive to save for your grandchildren’s post-secondary education by contributing to an RESP. All the contribution and grant money will grow tax free to help fund any education-related expenses for your grandchild’s future education.

If you’re concerned about your children funding a post-secondary education for your grandchildren, give us a call. We can provide you with details and a plan that will allow your grandkids to go after their dreams!

 Click here to book an appointment with us today!