InfoCapsule: The Canada Education Savings Grant (CESG)

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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.

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11. The Canada Education Savings Grant (CESG)

Administered by Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC), the CESG consists of a basic amount (Basic CESG, introduced in 1998) and an additional amount of CESG (Additional CESG, introduced in 2005) paid on contributions made to a Registered Education Savings Plan (RESP) in respect of an eligible beneficiary.

Eligibility criteria

  • The beneficiary has to be a resident in Canada at the time of the contribution and the withdrawal
  • A valid Social Insurance Number (SIN) is required for the subscriber and the beneficiary
  • In the case of the Additional CESG, a valid SIN is also required for the individual primary caregiver (PCG), their cohabiting spouse or common-law partner
  • A Business Number (BN) is required for a public PCG (department, institution or agency)
  • Information on the individual PCG, their cohabiting spouse or common-law partner, or the public PCG, must be collected to request the Additional CESG
  • Contributions must be made on or before December 31 of the calendar year in which the beneficiary turns 17
    • 16-17 year rule: if a contribution is made by December 31 of the calendar year in which the beneficiary turns 15 and a minimum of $100 in annual RESP contributions has been made in any 4 years or a minimum of $2,000 in RESP contributions has been made (and not withdrawn), each beneficiary will be eligible for the CESG in their 16th and 17th year until December 31 of the calendar year in which the beneficiary turns 17

CESG rates payable to an RESP in respect of a beneficiary

Basic CESG

The Basic CESG is payable at a rate of 20% of the first $2,500 or less of annual contributions.

If a beneficiary has accumulated grant room, the subscriber could catch up on these unused Basic CESG amounts by contributing more than $2,500 annually.

Note: The amount of annual Basic CESG payable per beneficiary is limited to the lesser of the following amounts: accumulated grant room available for the beneficiary OR the Basic CESG annual limit.

Since 2007:

  • the annual amount of Basic CESG (added to grant room) is $500
  • the annual limit of Basic CESG is $500 or $1,000 with carry forward
  • the amount of contributions required to receive the annual limit of Basic CESG is $2,500 or $5,000 with carry forward

Additional CESG

The Additional CESG is payable at a rate of 10% or 20% of the first $500 or less of annual contributions.

The Additional CESG cannot be carried forward and is based on the PCG's adjusted income level.

Rates based on the PCG’s adjusted income level
CESG rates PCG's adjusted income level
20% additional $47,630* or less or Public PCG
10% additional Greater than $47,630* and up to $95,259*

*2019 income thresholds

Note:

The lifetime limit per beneficiary for the CESG (Basic and additional combined) is $7,200.

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