Saskatchewan Advantage Grant for Education Savings (SAGES)

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.

Objective

At the end of this module, you will be able to explain the various aspects of the Saskatchewan Advantage Grant for Education Savings (SAGES).

1. Introduction

1.1 SAGES resources

You can access SAGES resources on the RESP promoters page:

1.2 What is SAGES?

SAGES is an education savings incentive that is:

1.3 Participating promoters

Only a participating SAGES promoter Footnote 2 can submit requests for SAGES payments to the Canada Education Savings Program (CESP) system.

To see the promoter list, go to the Promoter List tab of the RESP promoters page. This list also indicates the education savings incentives, administered by ESDC, that each promoter is authorized to request through the CESP system.

2. Eligibility criteria

2.1 Beneficiary’s eligibility criteria

To be eligible to receive a SAGES payment on an RESP contribution:

  • the subscriber must open an RESP for the beneficiary;
  • the RESP promoter must offer SAGES;
  • the beneficiary must be a resident of Saskatchewan when the contribution is made;
  • the contribution must be made on or after ; and
  • the contribution must be made on or before December 31 of the year the beneficiary turns 17.

2.2 The 16 and 17 year rule

SAGES has the same 16 and 17 year rule as the Canada Education Savings Grant (CESG).

To receive SAGES during the calendar years in which a beneficiary turns 16 and 17, one of the two following conditions must be met on or before December 31 of the year in which the beneficiary turns 15.

Condition 1 Footnote 3

  • Contributions must be made in any four years.
  • There must be at least $100 in contributions in each of these years.

Or

Condition 2 Footnote 4

  • There must be at least $2,000 in contributions.

2.3 Check your understanding

Scenario 1

José Sanchez had an individual RESP in which his parents contributed $200 per month since March 2013. His family moved to Saskatchewan on June 5, 2014, after having lived in Alberta since José was born in 2001. Would the RESP contributions that were made when José lived in Alberta be eligible for SAGES?

Answer 1

No. To receive SAGES for an RESP contribution, the beneficiary must be a resident of Saskatchewan when the contribution was made. RESP contributions made for José when he lived in Alberta would not be eligible for SAGES.

Scenario 2

Liam’s grandfather opened an RESP for him on his 12th birthday (January 6, 2009) and made $10 in pre-authorized contributions per month as summarized below:

  • (age 12), $120 in contributions
  • (age 13), $120 in contributions
  • (age 14), $120 in contributions
  • (age 15), $120 in contributions

Could Liam be eligible for SAGES in , when he turned 16?

Answer 2

Yes. Liam would satisfy the 16 and 17 year rule for RESP contributions at the age of 16 and 17, because at least $100 per year in RESP contributions were made for Liam in at least four separate years before the end of the calendar year in which Liam turned 15.

3. Plan types

3.1 Plan types for SAGES

SAGES can only be paid into:

SAGES cannot be paid into:

3.1.1 Compare with other incentives

Individual RESPs

(+Group RESPs)
Family RESPs

With Siblings Only Footnote 8
Family RESPs

With Cousins Footnote 9
Basic CESG Yes Yes Yes
Additional CESG Yes Yes No
Canada Learning Bond Yes Yes No
SAGES Yes Yes No
BCTESG Yes Yes No

“Yes”: can receive incentive

“No”: cannot receive incentive

4. Application form

4.1 Form overview

  • Promoters assist subscribers in completing the application form.
  • Promoters collect and retain Footnote 10 application forms.
  • Promoters must have a completed form to request Footnote 11 SAGES.
  • The form provides information to process Footnote 12 SAGES requests.

4.2 Accessing the form

The form ESDC SDE 0093 includes a number of components that can be used to apply for federal and provincial education savings incentives. The Annex C component of this form is used to apply for SAGES.

Promoters can access all components of form ESDC SDE 0093 in PDF format from the RESP promoters page (Forms tab).

4.3 Key players

These players must sign Footnote 13 the SAGES application form:

Other players:

4.4 Sharing information

SAGES requested in an application form cannot be paid unless the individuals who sign the form give their consent to use and share Footnote 15 personal information.

ESDC protects Footnote 16 the confidentiality of this personal information.

4.5 Avoiding typical mistakes

The promoter is responsible Footnote 17 for ensuring that application form is completed properly. To avoid SAGES payment delays:

  • All required information must be legible and accurate Footnote 18 .
  • All required signatures and consent must be obtained

5. Application process

5.1 Steps to apply for SAGES

1. Contact RESP promoter

The subscriber approaches an RESP promoter to open and register an education savings plan and name a beneficiary.

2. Obtain required information

The promoter obtains the SIN for the subscriber and the beneficiary and establishes the education savings plan. The information is entered into the promoter’s information system and transmitted electronically to the CESP to request registration of the plan.

3. Make RESP contributions

The subscriber deposits contributions to the RESP in respect of the beneficiary.

A SAGES application form can be completed before or after making RESP contributions. However, to receive SAGES payments on a contribution, the subscriber must complete the SAGES application form within three years after making the contribution.

4. Review eligibility criteria

The promoter reviews eligibility criteria with the subscriber to identify whether or not the beneficiary qualifies for SAGES.

5. Complete SAGES application form

The promoter helps the subscriber to complete the SAGES application form and obtains the necessary information and signatures. The subscriber can apply for SAGES up to three years after making RESP contributions.

6. Request SAGES on contributions

The promoter must submit a separate electronic SAGES request to the CESP system for each RESP contribution.

Note: The promoter cannot submit SAGES requests to the CESP system until after they have signed an agreement with ESDC and successfully passed industry testing for the CESP system.

7. Pay SAGES into RESP

The CESP system validates each SAGES request and makes monthly SAGES payments to the promoter.

5.2 Application for SAGES following a transfer from non-offering promoters

The application for SAGES following a transfer from non-offering promoters provides subscribers who transfer RESP assets from a non-offering SAGES promoter to an offering SAGES promoter with the flexibility to apply for SAGES on eligible contributions made to the RESP of a non-offering promoter.

5.2.1 Steps to apply for SAGES following a transfer from non-offering promoters

1. Initiating the transfer

The subscriber requests a transfer of the RESP assets from the SAGES non-offering promoter to the SAGES offering promoter.

2. Ensuring the transfer is processed successfully

The subscriber and the promoter take the necessary steps to ensure that the transfer is processed successfully.

3. Reviewing the eligibility criteria

The receiving promoter reviews the eligibility criteria to ensure the beneficiary qualifies for SAGES and completes the SAGES application form (ESDC SDE 0093-C Annex C-SAGES) with the subscriber.

4. Making a new RESP contribution

The subscriber makes a new contribution to the RESP (with the receiving promoter offering SAGES) in respect of the beneficiary.

5. Submitting SAGES request

The receiving promoter submits SAGES request on a new contribution via an electronic transaction to ESDC.

6. Processing SAGES request

ESDC processes SAGES request on the new contribution.

7. Sending an email to ESDC

The receiving promoter sends an email to ESDC to request SAGES on the transferred eligible contributions from the non-offering promoter once the request for SAGES is successfully processed. This includes the beneficiary’s first name, last name, the SAGES offering promoter’s contract number associated to the beneficiary and the date that the beneficiary started to be a resident of Saskatchewan as it appears on the SAGES application form (ESDC SDE 0093-C Annex C-SAGES).

8. Proceeding with manual intervention

ESDC receives the email from the SAGES offering promoter, validates eligible transferred contributions and proceeds with a manual intervention. Following the manual intervention, ESDC will send the transaction identification number and the amount paid to the promoter by email. The CESP system pays the SAGES amount to the promoter.

9. Paying SAGES into RESP

The promoter receives and deposits the SAGES payment into the RESP in respect of the beneficiary and then notifies the subscriber that the SAGES payment has been deposited into the RESP via account statements.

6. Amounts

6.1 Calculating SAGES

SAGES is a 10% payment on qualifying contributions Footnote 19 made to an RESP. (Examples) Footnote 20

6.2 Annual amounts available

The Government of Saskatchewan makes $250 Footnote 21 of SAGES available per year for each eligible beneficiary on contributions made on or after .

6.3 Lifetime SAGES limits

Each beneficiary can attract a maximum SAGES lifetime amount of $4,500. Footnote 22 This limit applies to the total amount of SAGES paid in respect of a beneficiary into all RESPs in which the beneficiary is named.

However, there is no lifetime limit per beneficiary for the SAGES amounts received in EAPs. Footnote 23

7. Grant room and carry forward

7.1 Grant room

SAGES grant room is similar to Basic CESG grant room.

If the annual RESP contribution amount for a beneficiary does not attract the full $250 SAGES amount, the unused SAGES amount is added to the accumulated SAGES grant room and carried forward for use in future years.

7.1.1 Residency requirements

SAGES grant room can accumulate even when a beneficiary is not a resident of Saskatchewan.

However, promoters can request SAGES Footnote 24 on a contribution only if the beneficiary was a resident of Saskatchewan when the contribution was made.

7.2 Annual limits

While a subscriber can catch up on the unused SAGES grant room for a beneficiary, the maximum annual SAGES amount that can be paid into RESPs in respect of a particular beneficiary is limited to $500.

The annual SAGES amount payable per beneficiary is the lesser of:

  • the accumulated SAGES grant room for the beneficiary; and
  • the SAGES annual limit of $500.

Example of carry forward Footnote 25

7.3 Example of SAGES grant room

Jonathon’s parents were planning to wait until to open his individual RESP on his 12th birthday. As Jonathon is not named in any other RESP, he would have a total of $1,250 Footnote 26 in SAGES grant room at the beginning of 2017.

His parents would have to make at least $5,000 in annual contributions for Jonathon, from 2017 to 2020, to catch up on all of his unused SAGES grant room. To see calculation details, visit the RESP promoters page (User Guides and publications tab).

7.4 Check your understanding

Calculate the SAGES grant room for the following scenarios.

Scenario 1

Dianne was born on December 12, 2010. Her parents opened an RESP for her and began making $10 in monthly contributions on the 15th day of each month, starting in January 2014.

What would her grant room be on January 1, 2015?

Answer 1

to

  • No accumulation of grant room (SAGES began in )

  • $250 added to grant room – no contribution: $250 carried forward to

  • $250 added to grant room + $250 carried forward = $500 grant room
  • $120 in contributions (12 months x $10) used $12 of grant room
  • $488 ($500 - $12) is carried forward to

  • $250 added to grant room + $488 carried forward = $738 grant room
  • Grant room would be $738 on

Scenario 2

Dianne was born on December 12, 2010. Her parents opened an RESP for her and began making $10 in monthly contributions on the 15th day of each month, starting in January 2014. Her grandparents also opened an RESP for Dianne and made a $5,000 contribution for her on January 6, 2015.

What would her grant room be on February 1, 2015?

Answer 2

  • $488 ($500 - $12) is carried forward to ; Same as scenario 1

  • $250 added to grant room + $488 carried forward = $738 grant room
  • $5,000 contribution on January 6 uses $500 of grant room
  • $738 - $500 = $238 carried forward to (only available in )
  • $10 of monthly contributions in will not attract SAGES because the maximum $500 SAGES annual limit has been reached
  • Grant room would be $238 on and would remain at this amount for the remainder of

8. Receipt and payment

8.1 Promoter responsibilities

The RESP promoter has many responsibilities concerning SAGES transactions:

8.2 RESP notional accounts

Promoters are responsible for maintaining RESP notional accounts. Footnote 32 When they receive a direct deposit Footnote 33 from the CESP, they must distribute Footnote 34 it into the appropriate notional accounts in each RESP:

Accounts used for Educational Assistance Payments

The incentives and earnings in an RESP can be used by a beneficiary in an educational assistance payment (EAP) to pay for post-secondary education.

Accounts used for subscriber's property

All contributions remain the property of the subscriber. While the subscriber can give contributions to a beneficiary to pay for post-secondary education, these amounts are not included in educational assistance payments (EAPs).

8.3 Order of payments

When a beneficiary is named in multiple RESPs, several subscribers could make contributions and request SAGES for the same beneficiary in the same reporting period. Footnote 41

In these situations, a first come, first served Footnote 42 approach is used for SAGES payments.

8.4 Non payment of SAGES

SAGES is not paid if the request is:

For more information:

Guide: Appendix E, Understanding Error Codes

Guide: Appendix F, Understanding Refusal Reasons

8.5 Time constraints for SAGES payments

The CESP system will refuse SAGES requests if a subscriber waits more than three years to apply for SAGES Footnote 45 after making an RESP contribution that could otherwise have attracted SAGES.

SAGES will also be refused if the request is not successfully processed by the CESP system within three years after the subscriber applies for SAGES.

Refusal Reason O

Subscribers have up to three years after the date of a contribution, which was made on or later, to apply for SAGES on the contribution. If this condition is not met:

  • the SAGES transaction will be processed by the CESP system;
  • SAGES will not be paid on the contribution; and
  • the promoter will receive a refusal reason O (Late SAGES Request) for this request in their monthly Transaction Processing Report.

Refusal Reason D

When promoters submit incorrect information or make formatting errors in their SAGES request transactions, they must correct and resubmit those transactions to the CESP system in another file. If a file is sent more than 3 years after the original transaction date of a SAGES request in the file:

  • the SAGES transaction will be processed by the CESP system;
  • SAGES will not be paid on the associated contribution; and
  • the promoter will receive a refusal reason D (Late Transaction) for this request in their monthly Transaction Processing Report.

8.6 Check your understanding

Question 1

An RESP promoter was in the process of updating their system to offer SAGES and was not in a position to accept a SAGES application when a subscriber made an RESP contribution on October 14, 2013.

To avoid receiving a refusal reason O for the SAGES request on this contribution, when must the subscriber complete the SAGES application form?

Answer 1

The subscriber must complete an application form for SAGES no later than October 14, 2016, three years after the corresponding contribution date.

Question 2

A SAGES request with a transaction date of was rejected by the CESP system due to an error. To avoid a refusal reason D and obtain a SAGES payment for this request, what is the latest date that the promoter must send a file to the CESP system, with the corrected SAGES request transaction?

Answer 2

The promoter must send a file to the CESP for processing no later than November 2, 2016, three years after the SAGES request transaction date. This transaction must be successfully processed by the CESP in the November 2016 processing period. Note that promoters must send their files for processing to the CESP system no later than the 4th business day of each month for the file to be processed that month.

9. Repayment

9.1 Repayment process

9.1.1 SAGES repayment reasons

  • Contributions are withdrawn and:
    • a beneficiary is not eligible for an EAP;
    • the withdrawal is not to correct an over-contribution of $4,000 or less.
  • The RESP is terminated.
  • The registration for the RESP is revoked.
  • An accumulated income payment (AIP) is made.
  • A payment to a designated educational institution is made.
  • An EAP is made to an individual who is not a beneficiary of the RESP.
  • An ineligible transfer occurs.
  • An ineligible beneficiary replacement occurs.

9.2 Waiver of repayment

A subscriber could face undue hardships Footnote 54 if repayment Footnote 55 of the SAGES is required due to the withdrawal of contributions. The Minister of Saskatchewan Advanced Education may waive the requirements for repayment of SAGES to avoid undue hardship.

9.2.1 Ministerial review process

1. Initiating the withdrawal of contributions

The subscriber initiates the withdrawal of contributions.

2. Processing the repayment

The promoter processes the contribution withdrawal and repayment and downloads the SAGES Waiver of Repayment form and provides a copy to the subscriber.

3. Completing the form

The subscriber completes the SAGES Waiver of repayment form, attaches the supporting documentation for the waiver and sends it to:

Ministry of Advanced Education

Student Service and Program Development Branch

1120-2010 12th Avenue

Regina, Saskatchewan

S4P 0M3

Telephone: 1-800-597-8278

4. Analyzing the request

The Minister of Saskatchewan Advanced Education analyses the request, informs the subscriber in writing of the decision.

Should the request receives a favourable review, the subscriber is required to provide the RESP promoter with the approval documentation.

5. Providing approval documentation

If the subscriber receives a favourable review, the subscriber is required to provide the RESP promoter with the approval documentation.

6. Depositing the SAGES payment

The promoter deposits the SAGES payment into the RESP in respect of the beneficiary and keeps a copy of the Saskatchewan Ministry of Advanced Education approval documentation.

9.2.2 Accessing the Waiver of repayment from

The subscriber must complete and submit the SAGES Waiver of Repayment form for an existing RESP and submit it to the Saskatchewan Ministry of Advanced Education within 12 months of the RESP contribution withdrawal transaction date. The SAGES Waiver of repayment form can be downloaded from the Forms tab of the webpage RESP promoters page.

10. Quiz

Question 1

Multiple Choice

Amongst the eligibility criteria below, which one is not a criterion to receive SAGES?

  1. Beneficiary's residency
  2. Beneficiary’s age
  3. Subscriber's family income
  4. Valid SIN of the beneficiary
Answer 1

C - Subscriber’s family income is not an eligibility criterion for SAGES

Question 2

True or False

SAGES can be paid into all types of RESPs, including plans in which the beneficiaries are cousins.

  1. True
  2. False
Answer 2

B – False. SAGES cannot be paid into an RESP unless there is only one beneficiary, or, if there is more than one, each beneficiary is a brother or sister of all the other beneficiaries in the plan.

Question 3

Multiple Choice

The SAGES lifetime limit for a beneficiary is:

  1. $7,500
  2. $1,000
  3. $4,500
  4. $50,000
Answer 3

C - The SAGES lifetime limit is $4,500 per beneficiary.

Question 4

Yes or No

Raymond moved from Alberta to Saskatchewan with his seven year old son in . Would his son have accumulated SAGES grant room since even if he was not a resident of Saskatchewan in that year?

  1. Yes
  2. No
Answer 4

Yes - SAGES grant room accumulates since , or since birth for beneficiaries born after , regardless of beneficiary residency status during these years. However, beneficiaries must be a resident of Saskatchewan when contributions are made to be eligible for SAGES payments on contributions.

Question 5

Multiple Choice

Amongst the following statements, which ones would result in SAGES not being paid? Check all correct answers.

  1. There is an error in the beneficiary's SIN.
  2. The 16 and 17 rule is not satisfied.
  3. A transaction is not successfully processed within 3 years.
  4. The beneficiary has received the maximum annual amount of SAGES.
Answer 5

All answers are true

Question 6

Multiple Choice

Amongst the following responsibilities, check all statements that are applicable to the RESP promoter:

  1. Review eligibility criteria with the subscriber.
  2. Help the subscriber complete the SAGES application form.
  3. Submit a SAGES request for each qualifying RESP contribution.
  4. Inform subscribers about SAGES payments made into the RESP.
Answer 6

The RESP promoter is responsible for all of the above.

Question 7

Multiple Choice

Who is responsible for correcting errors that result in a SAGES request transaction being rejected by the CESP system?

  1. The RESP promoter
  2. The custodial parent or legal guardian
  3. The subscriber
  4. The CESP
Answer 7

The RESP promoter

Question 8

Yes or No

Is the RESP promoter responsible for identifying circumstances in which a SAGES repayment is required?

  1. Yes
  2. No
Answer 8

Yes - The promoter is responsible for identifying any circumstance in which a SAGES repayment is required. The promoter must also calculate the required repayment amount and submit the appropriate repayment transaction to the CESP system.

11. Conclusion

11.1 Next Modules

Educational Assistance Payments

or

Transfer Rules for RESPs

11.2 Thank You

Thank you for completing the SAGES module.

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