Register for a Canada Learning Bond
Research shows that children with education savings are more likely to go pursue post-secondary education.
A Registered Education Savings Plan (RESP) can help you save for your child’s education. An RESP is an education savings account registered with the Government of Canada. It helps you, your family, or friends save money for your child’s education after high school.
You can open a RESP at a financial institution, such as a bank or credit union. When you open an RESP, you could be eligible to receive free money from the Government of Canada. This can help turn your child’s dreams into reality. It can also help your student graduate with less debt.
Canada Learning Bond
The Government of Canada offers a Canada Learning Bond of $500 to help you start saving now for your child’s education after high school. In addition, your child could get $100 every year until he or she turns 15 years old to a maximum of $2,000.
Your child is eligible for the Canada Learning Bond if born on or after January 1, 2004; and you received the National Child Benefit Supplement under the Canada Child Tax Benefit (also known as family allowance) or your family net income is under $45,916 (as of 2017).
Canada Education Savings Grant
The Canada Education Savings Grant is money that the Government of Canada will add to your RESP savings. It is available to all families regardless of income. Each year, the basic Canada Education Savings Grant provides you with 20% on every dollar of the first $2,500 you save. This means that for every $10 you save in your child’s RESP, the government will add $2.
Depending on your net family income, you could receive an extra 10% or 20% on every dollar of the first $500 you save each year. This means that for every $10 you save in your child’s RESP, the government will add an extra $1 or $2.
Try the online Savings Calculator by SmartSaver to see how your savings will add up over time. You can also check your eligibility for the Canada Learning Bond and the Canada Education Savings Grant with the SmartSaver Eligibility Calculator.
Choosing the right RESP for you
Three types of RESPs:
- Family RESPs allows you to put aside money for one or more children related to you by blood or adoption. You can save for them all using one family RESP.
- Individual RESP allows you to save for one child, whether related to you or not, by opening an individual RESP.
- Group RESPs allows you to combine savings with other people for your child. The earnings are shared when it’s time to pay for school. Regular payments throughout the term of the RESP are usually required, but each plan has its own rules.
Ask your RESP provider about:
- your investment choices (savings account, bonds, guaranteed investment certificates (GICs), mutual funds or stocks);
- the advantages and risk factors of each choice, because some investment products may be riskier than others;
- the administration fees; and
- the penalties that may apply if you don’t make regular payments or if you close an RESP.
Choose the RESP and the RESP provider that best suits your needs by asking:
- Do they offer the Canada Learning Bond and the Additional Canada Education Savings Grant?
- What types of RESPs are offered (family, individual or group) and the advantages and risk factors of each?
- What investment products are offered and the advantages and risk factors of each?
- What are the administration fees and penalties?
Ready to register your child for an RESP?
You will need a Social Insurance Number for yourself and the child you are registering for the RESP. Contact Service Canada if you need to register for a Social Insurance Number. You will need a birth certificate from Vital Statistics before you can get a Social Insurance Number. If getting a birth certificate is difficult for you due to associated fees, the Canada Learning Bond PEI coordinator may be able to help.