Two western provinces recognize the value of investing in their children’s college or university opportunity
TORONTO, ON — The provinces of Saskatchewan and British Columbia have separately announced new programs to provide incentives to families in their provinces to save money for their children’s post-secondary education. These moves have been greeted enthusiastically by members of the RESP Dealers Association of Canada (RESPDAC), and come in the wake of previous lobbying efforts by the association.
Saskatchewan’s program, titled Saskatchewan Advantage Grant for Education Savings (SAGES), was first announced in December 2012. It will provide a grant to a Registered Education Savings Plan (RESP) at a rate of 10 per cent of the subscriber’s annual contributions up to a maximum provincial contribution of $250 per year per beneficiary. This is on top of the federal Canada Education Savings Grant (CESG), which means the federal and provincial governments will add an additional $750 to a family contributing $2,500 toward their child’s RESP. that child’s account.
The SAGES program requires legislation to be passed by the Saskatchewan Legislature during 2013, but when passed, the program will be retroactive to January 1st of this year.
In British Columbia, the new BC Training and Education Savings Grant was announced in February. Under this program, when a BC resident child turns six years old, he or she will be eligible for a one-time grant of $1,200 to be deposited into their Registered Education Savings Plan (RESP). No matching or additional contributions are required in order to receive the grant. All a family needs to do is to open an RESP account and apply for the grant before the child turns seven years old.
“Both of these programs will have a significant and positive effect on education savings in their provinces,” said Paul Renaud, Chair of RESPDAC. “But more importantly, they will surely create the possibility for many more children to take advantage of the opportunity to receive a post-secondary education and ultimately, as a result, to enjoy a more successful life.
“We have urged every province in Canada to consider similar grants. In our view, the money paid out by government is eventually returned through a better-educated, more motivated adult workforce.”
Unfortunately, the first province to enact a provincial education savings grant, has announced it will be phasing out its program. Alberta has provided no other details at this point, but its Alberta Centennial Education Savings Grant (ACES), in place since 2007, is to be wound down.
The RESP Dealers Association of Canada comprises five companies which provide group registered education savings plans to Canadian families. Together these member companies manage over $10.5 billion in assets, which in turn pay out over $250 million annually in Education Assistance Payments to over 80,000 college and university students. Group RESPs have been in existence since the 1960s, and have assisted millions of Canadians in obtaining
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RESP Dealers Association of Canada