8.3.3 Other registered savings plans

From: Financial Consumer Agency of Canada

Other registered savings plans also offer significant tax benefits, although they are not deducted from your net income. They are generally called registered savings plans because they must be registered with the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) in order to qualify for tax benefits.

  • Tax-Free Savings Accounts (TFSAs) let you put money in a registered plan, and any income the plan earns is tax-free.
    • In 2018 the maximum amount you can put in a TFSA is $5,500 a year (the maximum you could put in a TFSA in 2016 was $5,500 and in 2017 was $5,500). But if you did not contribute the maximum in previous years, you may be able to contribute more. For example, if you did not contribute in years one and two, you may contribute up to $16,500 in year three.
    • You can take money out of a TFSA and put it back again in a later year.
    • A TFSA does not affect money you receive from other government sources.
    • A TFSA can include almost any type of investment. Returns may be guaranteed or they may not.
    • For details, go to Canada Revenue Agency's information on The Tax-Free Savings Account  
  • Registered Education Savings Plans (RESPs) let you put money into a registered plan and shift the income the plan makes to a student.
    • Shifting the income in the plan to a student usually means that the student pays little or no income tax on the money the plan earns.
    • Money in an RESP is eligible for grants from the Government of Canada and the province of Quebec, so it can be a source of additional tax-free income.
    • For details, go to Employment and Social Development Canada's information on the Canada Education Savings Grant (CESG).
    • Quebec also has a student savings plan.
  • Registered Disability Savings Plans (RDSPs) let you put money into a registered plan and shift the income the plan makes to a person with a disability.
    • Money in an RDSP is eligible for grants from the Government of Canada, so it can be a source of additional tax-free income.
    • For details, go to Employment and Social Development Canada's information on Registered Disability Savings Plans.

Many conditions apply to registered savings plans. Be sure you understand them so you can decide if they are the best way for you to meet your savings and investment goals. Find out what fees and conditions apply. Some key questions are:

  • Are there rules about how much I can save each year?
  • When do I contribute?
  • Who will invest my money?
  • How fast will my money grow?
  • How much will this plan cost?
  • What happens if my plans change?

For more consumer tips, go to Financial Consumer Agency of Canada information on Before you sign any contract: 10 things you need to know.

To review information about registered savings plans, see the video, Taxes and registered savings plans.

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