A Registered Education Savings Plan (RESP) is an investment account that you contribute to and the government deposits grant money into as well. Generally speaking, an RESP is the best and most efficient way to save for your child’s education. The government will match 20% of the first $2,500 contributed each year.
If you put $1,000 in an RESP throughout the year, the government will put in an additional $200. Therefore you’ll have a total of $1,200 invested in an RESP.
Some parts of RESPs can be confusing. A PenFinancial Advisor can help you make sense of everything, but here are a few key terms:
Beneficiary: The future post-secondary school student for whom money is being saved.
Planholder/Subscriber: The person who opened and owns the RESP.
Provider: The financial institution with which you set up the RESP.
An RESP can be invested in a variety of products, like savings accounts, GICs, Mutual Funds*, ETFs*, and Index-Linked GICs*. The choice is very personalized, a PenFinancial Advisor can help you.
You can contribute up to $50,000 in total per beneficiary. If you’re looking to maximize your growth, remember the government will only contribute 20% of the first $2,500 contributed each year.
You can choose to set up an Individual Plan or Family Plan. The Family Plan is more flexible because it allows for money to be transferred between multiple beneficiaries. But if you’re confident you’ll only save for one beneficiary, then the Individual Plan is the plan you need.
If the beneficiary doesn't attend post-secondary you can withdraw the money at any time. There’s a catch though – you’ll have to repay all the government grant money, as well as interest earned on that grant money.
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