Participating in the Lifelong Learning Plan
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If you are an RRSP annuitant and a resident of Canada, you can usually participate in the LLP to withdraw funds from your RRSPs for your own or your spouse's or common-law partner's education.
Certain types of RRSPs, such as locked-in RRSPs, do not allow you to withdraw funds from them. Your RRSP issuer can give you more information about the types of RRSPs you have.
Similar to locked-in RRSPs, PRPPs, and SPPs do not allow for LLP withdrawals. However, you can designate your PRPP and SPP contributions as an LLP repayment.
You cannot participate in the LLP after the end of the year you turn 71. For more information, go to Your options in the year you turn 71.
You have to be a resident of Canada when you receive funds from your RRSPs under the LLP. If you are not sure whether you are considered a resident or non-resident of Canada, or if you need more information about residency status, go to Canada Revenue Agency, or call the International Enquiries for Individuals and Trusts at one of the following numbers: 1-800-959-8281 (toll free within Canada and the Continental U.S.), or 1-613-940-8495 (from outside Canada and the Continental U.S. — we accept collect calls by automated response. Please note that you may hear a beep and experience a normal connection delay).
If you become a non-resident after you make an LLP withdrawal, see If you become a non-resident of Canada.
The LLP student can be you or your spouse or common-law partner. You cannot name your child or the child of your spouse or common-law partner as an LLP student.
If the LLP student meets the disability conditions, the student can enrol on a part-time basis (see Enrollment on a part time basis). If you are not sure whether the LLP student is enrolled on a full-time basis, check with the educational institution.
The educational institution determines when the student is considered to be enrolled in a program, and when the student is no longer enrolled. Usually, the student is considered to be enrolled when part or all of the student's fees are paid.
If the LLP student is not already enrolled in a program, the student must have received a written offer from a designated educational institution to enrol before March of the year after you withdraw funds from your RRSPs under the LLP. A conditional written offer is acceptable.
If you made an LLP withdrawal in a previous year, your repayment period has not begun.
You cannot participate in the LLP if the student has already completed the program and is no longer enrolled.
Qualifying educational program
The program must be one of the following:
- of a technical or vocational nature designed to provide a person with skills for, or improve a person’s skills in, an occupation, in the case where the program is at an educational institution certified by ESDC
- at a post-secondary school level, in any other case
All programs must meet both of the following conditions:
- last three consecutive months or more
- require a student to spend 10 hours or more per week on courses or work in the program. Courses or work includes lectures, practical training, and laboratory work, as well as research time spent on a post-graduate thesis. It does not include study time
Designated educational institution
A designated educational institution includes:
- Canadian universities, colleges, and other educational institutions
- Canadian educational institutions certified by Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC) providing courses that develop or improve skills in an occupation, other than courses designed for university credit
- Universities outside Canada where the student is enrolled in a course that lasts at least three consecutive weeks and leads to a degree at the bachelor level or higher
- Universities, colleges, or other educational institutions in the United States that give courses at the post-secondary school level if the student is living in Canada (near the border) throughout the year and commutes to that institution
If you are not sure whether a particular institution qualifies as a designated educational institution, see Guide P105, Students and income Tax, or call 1-800-959-8281.
Full‑time registered student
The educational institution determines who is a full-time or part-time student. The requirement that the student enrol as a full-time student is separate from the qualifying educational program requirement. The qualifying educational program requirement can be met by a person taking courses by correspondence or by a person enrolled in a distance education program. Even if the student is enrolled in a program that requires spending 10 hours or more per week on courses or work in the program, the institution may consider the student to be enrolled on a part-time basis. In this case, you will not be considered a full-time student for LLP purposes. The following section explains the only exception to this rule.
Enrollment on a part‑time basis
An LLP student who meets one of the disability conditions can be enrolled on a part-time basis. The program in which the student is enrolled must still be a qualifying educational program that usually requires a student to spend 10 hours or more per week on courses or work in the program.
However, a student who meets the disability conditions can spend less than 10 hours per week on courses or work in the program.
We consider the LLP student to meet the disability conditions if one of the following situations applies:
- the student cannot reasonably be expected to be enrolled as a full-time student because of a mental or physical impairment, and the student has submitted a signed letter from a medical doctor, an optometrist, a speech-language pathologist, an audiologist, an occupational therapist, a physiotherapist, or a psychologist stating this
- the student is entitled to the disability amount on line 31600 of the student's income tax and benefit return for the year of the LLP withdrawal
If the student was allowed the disability amount on their income tax and benefit return for the previous year and still meets the eligibility requirements for the disability amount, the student will meet the disability condition for the LLP. The student will also meet this condition if someone else claimed the disability amount for the student in the previous year and the student still meets the eligibility requirements for the disability amount. If you have questions about the disability amount, call 1-800-959-8281.
If the LLP student does not enrol in the program on time
If the LLP student is not already enrolled when you make the withdrawal, the student has to enrol in a qualifying educational program before March of the year after you made the LLP withdrawal.
If the LLP student does not enroll in the program on time, you have to cancel your LLP withdrawal.
For more information, see How to cancel your LLP withdrawal.
How often can I participate in the LLP?
There is no limit to the number of times you can participate in the LLP over your lifetime. Starting in the year after you bring your LLP balance to zero, you can participate in the LLP again and withdraw up to $20,000 over a new participation period.
Your LLP participation period starts on January 1 of the year you make an eligible withdrawal from your RRSP and ends in the year your LLP balance is zero
Can my spouse or common-law partner and I participate in the LLP at the same time?
Yes. You can do any of the following:
- you can participate in the LLP for yourself while your spouse or common-law partner participates in the LLP for themselves
- you can both participate in the LLP for either of you
- you can participate in the LLP for each other
Each of you can withdraw up to the annual LLP limit of $10,000 in a year and up to the total LLP limit of $20,000 over the period you are participating in the LLP.
If you are already a participant in the LLP program and the student has been established as either yourself or your spouse or common-law partner, you cannot make an additional withdrawal for a different student.
Can I participate in the LLP and in the Home Buyers' Plan at the same time?
You can participate in the LLP even if you have not yet fully repaid the withdrawn amounts from your RRSPs under the Home Buyers’ Plan (HBP). For more information about the HBP, go to HBP.
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