Questions and answers: Closure of the Alberta Centennial Education Savings (ACES) Plan

Disclaimer: RESP promoters

The information contained on this page is technical in nature and is intended for Registered Education Savings Plan (RESP) and Canada Education Savings Program promoters. For general information, visit the RESP section.

Questions and answers

Number:
CESP/PCEE-2014/15-002B-619
Date:
March 26, 2015
Subject:
Closure of the Alberta Centennial Education Savings (ACES) Plan

Purpose

The purpose of the Information Bulletin is to provide questions and answers to RESP promoters regarding the closure of the Alberta Centennial Education Savings (ACES) Plan grants.

Background

The financial industry has delivered the Alberta Centennial Education Savings (ACES) Plan grants to its Registered Education Savings Plan (RESP) clients since 2005. On March 26, 2015, the Government of Alberta announced the closure of the plan. As a result, promoters and trustees that have a valid agreement with Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC) to deliver the ACES Plan grants will be required to comply with cut-off dates that align with the closure of the plan.

ESDC and the Government of Alberta are committed to a smooth transition for the financial industry and Canadians. Promoters can expect timely communication through Listserv and Information Bulletins, and the ESDC promoter’s page will be updated as additional information becomes available.

Conversion

Q1. What will happen to the ACES Plan grants that have been paid into RESPs?
A1. All ACES Plan grants held in RESPs must be converted into accumulated income on January 1, 2016, and not before that date. ESDC will provide financial institutions with further information concerning the conversion in the near future.

Promoter/Trustee Agreements

Q2. What will happen to the Promoter and Trustee Agreements with ESDC?
A2: In the coming months, a notice of termination will be issued by ESDC, as per Article VI of the Promoter and Trustee Agreements. Until such time, the agreements remain in effect.

Cut-off date – application forms

Q3: What is the cut-off date to accept application forms for the ACES Plan grants?
A3: July 31, 2015, is the last day your organization can accept a completed application form from a subscriber. This means all ACES Plan grant requests must have a signature date of July 31, 2015, or earlier to be submitted for processing. Thereafter, all applications must be declined.

Cut-off date – grant requests

Q4: Will ACES Plan grant requests with a signature date of August 1, 2015, or later be paid?
A4: No. ACES Plan grant requests dated August 1, 2015, or after will be refused payment if submitted to the CESP system for processing.

Q5: What is the cut-off date for ACES Plan grant requests to be submitted to the CESP system for processing?
A5: The last day a promoter can submit an ACES Plan grant request dated July 31, 2015, or earlier, is October 6, 2015.

Cut-off date – reversals

Q6: What is the cut-off date for ACES Plan grant request reversals?
A6: All ACES Plan grant request reversals must have a transaction date of December 31, 2015, or earlier, and must be submitted to the CESP system by January 7, 2016. Any grant request reversals submitted after this date will be rejected.

Cut-off date – transactions

Q7: What is the cut-off date for Educational Assistance Payments (EAPs), transfers, repayments and termination adjustments that are reporting an ACES Plan grant amount?
A7: All EAPs, transfers, repayments and termination adjustments that are reporting an ACES Plan grant amount must be submitted to the Canada Education Savings Program (CESP) system by January 7, 2016.

Cut-off date – transaction reversals

Q8: What is the cut-off date for reversals of EAPs, transfers, repayments and termination adjustments that previously reported an ACES Plan grant amount?
A8: All reversals of EAPs, transfers, repayments and termination adjustments that previously reported an ACES Plan grant amount must be submitted to the CESP system by January 7, 2016.

Interface Transaction Standards

Q9: Will there be updates to the Interface Transaction Standards (ITS)?
A9: Yes. The ITS will be updated and sent to promoters and trustees in the near future. It should be noted that there will be no new error codes or refusal reasons introduced.

Resource products

Q10. Will the CESP’s other resource products be impacted?
A10. Yes. All resource products for RESP promoters and trustees that the CESP publishes online will be amended to remove ACES Plan information. This includes the RESP Provider User Guide, InfoCapsules and e-Learning modules. These updated documents will be published online after January 1, 2016.

Questions from the public

Q11. What should my organization do if we get questions from the public on why the ACES Plan is closing?
A11. Questions from the public regarding the specifics as to why the plan is closing can be redirected to the Government of Alberta or by calling 1-866-515-2237.

Provincial Ministry Review

Q12. Will Alberta accept requests for ministerial review?
A12. Yes. However, requests for reclaimed ACES Plan grants must be submitted to the Government of Alberta no later than March 31, 2015, and requests for Ministry Review for rejected grant applications must be submitted by September 30, 2015. Incomplete requests will not be considered.

More information

Q13. Where can I obtain further operational information on the closure of the ACES Plan?
A13. ESDC is available to answer additional questions from promoters and trustees concerning the closure of the plan by calling 1-888-276-3624 or by email at cesp-pcee@hrsdc-rhdcc.gc.ca.

Contact Us

If you have any questions on this Information Bulletin, please contact us by e-mail at cesp-pcee@hrsdc-rhdcc.gc.ca or call 1-888-276-3624. Our hours of operation are from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Eastern Standard Time.

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