Who can become a beneficiary?

You can designate an individual as a beneficiary under the RESP only if:

  • the individual's social insurance number (SIN) is given to the promoter before the designation is made; and
  • the individual is a resident of Canada when the designation is made.


An education savings plan may permit a non-resident individual who does not have a SIN to be designated as a beneficiary under the plan provided that the designation is being made in conjunction with a transfer of property into the plan from another RESP that was entered into before 1999 and under which the individual was a beneficiary immediately before the transfer.

A beneficiary under a family plan entered into after 1998, must be less than 21 years of age at the time he or she is named as a beneficiary. When one family plan is transferred to another, a beneficiary who is 21 years of age or older can still be named a beneficiary to the new RESP.

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