Canada Education Savings Program (CESP) – Registered Education Savings Plan (RESP) Provider User Guide

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.

Latest versions

Section 1: Introduction

  • Chapter 1-1: ESDC's Canada Education Savings Program - 2018-12-20
  • Chapter 1-2: Key concepts - 2018-04-04
  • Chapter 1-3: The CESP system and interface transaction standards -2018-04-03
  • Chapter 1-4: Registered Education Savings Plans - 2018-10-02

Section 2: Education savings incentives

  • Chapter 2-1: The Canada Education Savings Grant - 2018-12-20
  • Chapter 2-2: The Canada Learning Bond - 2018-04-04
  • Chapter 2-3: British Columbia Training and Education Savings Grant - 2018-04-04
  • Chapter 2-4: Saskatchewan Advantage Grant for Education Savings (SAGES) - 2018-04-04

Section 3: Transfers & payments

  • Chapter 3-1: RESP transfers and the education savings incentives - 2015-12-15
  • Chapter 3-2: Post-secondary education and Educational Assistance Payments (EAPs) - 2018-12-20
  • Chapter 3-3: Options for assets remaining in the RESP - 2015-12-15

Section 4: Appendices

  • Appendix A: Application form - Education savings incentives - 2017-12-18
  • Appendix B: A Quick reference - Eligibility criteria for education savings incentives - 2018-12-20
  • Appendix C: Acronyms and definitions - 2017-12-18
  • Appendix D: Forms index - Education savings incentives - 2015-12-15
  • Appendix E: Understanding error codes - 2017-11-07
  • Appendix F: Understanding refusal reasons - 2017-11-07
  • Appendix G: Understanding repayments – 2018-11-05
What is the RESP Provider User Guide?

The RESP Provider User Guide has been developed to support RESP Providers' knowledge and understanding of the guiding principles, systems and processes associated with the following education savings incentives:

  • The Canada Education Savings Grant (CESG)
  • The Canada Learning Bond (CLB)
  • The Saskatchewan Advantage Grant for Education Savings (SAGES)
  • The British Columbia Training and Education Savings Grant (BCTESG)

See Appendix C for a list of acronyms and terms used in this guide.

How to use this guide

Who should read this guide?

Any person involved in offering Registered Education Savings Plans (RESPs) to the public will benefit from using the RESP Provider User Guide.

The Guide includes step-by-step procedures associated with the education savings incentives processes, as well as knowledge-building components. In addition, it provides access to reference information, quick reference tools, and links to downloadable forms, all of which have been designed to help you in assisting your clients to apply for and receive the applicable education savings incentives on behalf of eligible beneficiaries.

Please note that throughout the Guide, the term RESP Provider is used as a common way to refer to any person(s) involved in the processes associated with offering RESPs and the education savings incentive(s). The nature of each individual's involvement with a particular process (e.g. submitting electronic transactions to the Canada Education Savings Program), will depend on how such responsibilities have been assigned within each organization.

How information is organized

The information in this User's Guide has been organized into four main sections:

  • Section 1: Introduction – This section introduces the education savings incentives administered by the Canada Education Savings Program (CESP), Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC). In addition, it provides background information about Registered Education Savings Plans (RESPs) and outlines fundamental principles and systems associated with the incentives application and payment processes.
  • Section 2: Education savings incentives – This section of the Guide provides detailed description(s) of the education savings incentive(s), as well as associated regulations, principles, and processes. In most cases, each chapter is organized in a similar fashion, to help locate the information you need.
  • Section 3: Transfers and payments – This section of the Guide focuses on the activities related to making transfers and payments from the RESP, with particular attention to how they may impact the education savings incentive(s) paid into the RESP.
  • Section 4: Appendices – This section of the Guide provides instructions for completing the incentive application forms, links to these and other downloadable CESP forms, as well as a number of other useful reference tools

Consult this page frequently for newer versions. The following laws and regulations take precedence over information contained in this guide in the event of discrepancies:

  • Income Tax Act
  • Canada Education Savings Act
  • Canada Education Savings Regulations
  • The Saskatchewan Advantage Grant for Education Savings (SAGES) Act
  • The Saskatchewan Advantage Grant for Education Savings (SAGES) Regulations
  • Special Accounts Appropriation and Control Act
  • British Columbia Training and Savings Program Regulation

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