How the Registered Education Savings Plan and related benefits work together

How an RESP works

A Registered Education Savings Plan (RESP) is a special savings account to help save for a child's education after high school, including trade schools, CEGEPs, colleges, universities, and apprenticeship programs. When you open a plan, you can ask your financial institution (the promoter) to apply for benefits to help pay for the child's education after high school. If the child is eligible, they can receive the following in the RESP:

Any adult can open an RESP account for a child — parents, guardians, grandparents, other relatives, and friends.

Adults can also open RESPs for themselves. Adults born in 2004 or later may also receive the CLB for themselves until the age of 21.

Savings and benefits in the RESP can be used to pay for eligible education expenses, like tuition, books, tools, transportation, and rent.

The subscriber is the person who opens the RESP with a promoter, including adults opening RESPs for themselves. The subscriber can also choose to make contributions. Contributions to the RESP are not needed to receive the CLB but, are needed to receive the CESG.

The beneficiary is the person (usually a child) who will get money from the RESP to pay for their education after high school, as long as the school and program are eligible.

The promoter is the financial organization where you open the RESP. The promoter administers all amounts contributed into the RESP and releases money from the RESP to the beneficiary when it is needed for eligible expenses for education after high school.

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