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  Canada Immigration Forum > About Canada > Financial Planning > 3 TYPES OF RESP
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It is very important to choose the right type of RESP as they are subject to different contribution rules, withdrawal rules and beneficiary's age restrictions. You can open a RESP account at a bank, credit union, a mutual fund company, an insurance company, an investment dealer or a trust company that offers group scholarship plans.

Basically, there are following three types of RESPs:

1. Individual (Single Beneficiary) Plan:
In an Individual Plan, there are generally no restrictions on who can be the beneficiary. He/She can be a child, grandchild, niece, nephew, or even the subscriber, his/her spouse or an unrelated individual. In this type of RESP plan, only one beneficiary is named in the RESP and the beneficiary does not have to be related to you. You can open this type of RESP for even yourself or for any other eligible individual; however, the federal governments monetary grants like CESG, Additional CESG or CLB can be paid only to the eligible beneficiaries whose age is 17 or under.

With many individual plans, an alternate beneficiary can be named if the original beneficiary does not attend the post-secondary educational program. If all the beneficiaries are under the age of 21, RESP assets from individual plans can be transferred to a Family Plan at a later date.

2. Family (Multi-Beneficiary) Plan:
In a Family Plan, a beneficiary must be less than 21 years of age at the time he/she is named as a beneficiary. You can name one or more children as beneficiary and is ideal if you have more than one child. The children must be related to you, either by blood or adoption. They may be your children, step children, grandchildren (including adopted grandchildren), brothers or sisters.

Under the Income Tax Act, a "blood relationship" is that of a parent child (or grandchild or great-grandchild) or that of a brother and sister. Also, you cannot be considered a blood relative of yourself. Unlike Individual RESP Plan, nieces, nephews, aunts, uncles, and cousins cannot be named as beneficiaries.

The biggest advantage of a Family Plan is that the earnings and the federal governments monetary grants like CESG, Additional CESG or CLB can be shared among the children named in the RESP. For example, if one child under a Family Plan does not pursue a post-secondary education, the RESP assets can be used by the other child or children named as beneficiary in the plan, provided maximum RESP contribution limits per beneficiary (i.e. $50,000) is adhered to.

3. Group or Pooled Plan:
Group Plans are offered by several Canadian scholarship trust companies. A Group Plan pools the savings for many children and you can also register and contribute for your children or for any child who does not have to be related to you. A subscriber (you) can purchase a certain number of units based on beneficiary's (child's) age at the time of contribution. These units represent your share of the plan. The maturity date of the plan is based on your child's birth date. The scholarship trust company then pools or combines your savings with those of other people and invests in a low-risk investment. When the beneficiary begins attending a qualified post-secondary education, the scholarship trust company funds the education after performing complex calculations based on how much money is in the group account, fees incurred to redeem the investments and number of students of the same age who will be starting school that year. If your child does not begin post-secondary education at the same time as the rest of the group, the earnings you receive from the plan may be affected.

Each Group Plan is different and has its own set of rules. As you would with any investment, be sure to read the plan rules carefully. A Group Plan is ideal if you can make regular payments throughout the term of the RESP as you will have to endorse a contract to make regular payments into the plan over a certain period of time. Fees may apply if you stop these regular payments and the plan may be terminated for you. If you leave the plan before it matures, you get the money you put in, but your investment earnings go to the remaining members of the group. If you stay in the plan until it matures, your child may share in the earnings of those who left the plan early. If you cancel the plan in first few years, you will get back less than what you put in because sales charges are deducted from your contribution. Further, Group RESP is not eligible for federal government's Canada Leaning Bond education grant.

Group Plans are a good option, if you prefer to have someone decide how to invest the money for you, and you are fairly certain that the child you are saving for will continue his/her post-secondary education. The rules for Group RESPs are more stringent compared to other types of RESPs and withdrawals are subject to fees and are based on very complex and not so transparent calculations.

You can also visit" rel="nofollow">LINK for more information. This government of Canada website has a wealth of information about educational savings and student financial aid.


Junior Desi
Member since: Apr 11
Posts: 8
Location: Ontario, Canada

Post ID: 233851 31-01-17 13:31:50
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