Fact Sheet: RESPs and grants

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RESP assets and contributions

  • Total RESP assets in Canada grew to $44.4 billion in 2014—an increase of 9.6% from 2013.
  • Annual RESP contributions in Canada grew to $4.07 billion in 2014—an increase of 3.6% from 2013.
  • In 2014, the average annual RESP contribution in Canada was $1,490.
  • In 2014, the average annual RESP contribution in B.C. was $1,687—second highest in the country after Nunavut; however, this figure has increased only 3% over the last five years.

Canada Education Savings Grant

  • The Canada Education Savings Grant adds 20% to the first $2,500 of annual RESP contributions each year (up to $500 a year), up to a lifetime maximum of $7,200 per beneficiary.
  • In 2014, the Canada Education Savings Grant participation rate in B.C. was 52.6%, with 439,696 of 835,213 eligible children participating (and 395,517 eligible children not participating).
  • In 2014, the Canada Education Savings Grant participation rate in Canada was 48.5%.
  • To date, the Canada Education Savings Grant program has paid out almost $1.3 billion to B.C. families and almost $9 billion to Canadian families.

Canada Learning Bond

  • The Canada Learning Bond offers a $500 RESP contribution to children from low-income families, plus an additional $100 every year until age 15, up to a maximum of $2,000 (no contribution required).
  • In 2014, the Canada Learning Bond participation rate in B.C. was 36.7%, with 96,197 of 261,860 eligible children participating (and 165,663 eligible children not participating).
  • In 2015, the Canada Learning Bond participation rate in Canada was 31.6%.
  • To date, the Canada Learning Bond program has paid out just over $80 million to B.C. families and $605 million to Canadian families.

Canada Learning Bond participation rates by city as of March 31, 2015

City

# of beneficiaries

# of eligible children

Participation rate

Abbotsford

4,554

11,105

41%

Burnaby

5,850

11,856

49%

Chilliwack

1,895

7,040

27%

Coquitlam

2,512

5,602

45%

Delta

2,093

4,910

43%

Greater Victoria

5,635

19,123

29%

Langley

2,920

7,681

38%

Maple Ridge

1,516

4,296

35%

Mission

920

3,158

29%

New Westminster

1,501

3,156

48%

North Vancouver

2,338

5,266

44%

Pitt Meadows

307

907

34%

Port Coquitlam

2,252

5,088

44%

Port Moody

692

1,593

43%

Richmond

5,771

11,186

52%

Squamish

307

714

43%

Surrey

18,339

40,104

46%

Vancouver

13,054

26,657

49%

West Vancouver

640

1,367

47%

White Rock

223

557

40%

Source: Employment and Social Development Canada

British Columbia Training and Education Savings Grant

  • Announced in 2013, the British Columbia Training and Education Savings Grant provides a one-time provincial incentive of $1,200 available to children born on or after January 1, 2007.
  • Parents with children born between January 1, 2007 and August 15, 2009 can apply for the new grant starting August 15, 2015—and must apply before August 14, 2018.
  • Parents with children born after August 15, 2009 need to apply between their child's sixth and ninth birthdays.
  • Parents do not need to contribute to an RESP to receive this grant, but do need to open an RESP before their child turns seven.

Withdrawing RESPs

  • In 2014, 379,120 students in Canada withdrew $3.04 billion from their RESPs to help pay for school, representing about 19 per cent of all post-secondary students.
  • In 2014, the total amount withdrawn from RESPs increased 10% from 2013 and the average amount withdrawn was $8,025.

Source: 2014 Canada Education Savings Program Statistical Review