Making RESP contributions

You can start putting money into a child’s RESPRESP See Registered Education Savings Plan.+ read full definition as soon as they are born. Unlike an RRSP, you can’t deduct RESP contributions from your taxes.

How it works

For each child or beneficiary, there is a lifetime limit of $50,000 in total contributions:

  • This limit does not include any government grant money.
  • If you contribute more than the limit, you may have to pay tax on the excess amount.
  • After 31 years, you can no longer make contributions. Specified plan rules allow beneficiaries eligible for the disability tax credit to make contributions to their plan up to the end of the year that includes the plan’s 35th anniversary.

Use this RESP calculator to figure out how much you need to save each year for your child’s education.

Individual and family plans:

  • You can usually choose how much and how often to put money in.
  • There are no annual limits.

Group plans:

  • You must make regular contributions according to a set schedule for a fixed amount of time.
  • If you miss a contributionContribution Money that you put into a savings or investment plan.+ read full definition, you may have to pay a penalty or even leave the plan.

Learn more about group plans.

 Maximize your grants

To get the full Canada Education Savings Grant of $500 in a year, you have to contribute $2,500 to the RESP.

Transferring money between RESPs

You may want to transfer money from 1 RESP to another, for example, if you’re changing financial institutions or consolidating several RESP accounts for the same beneficiary into a single account.

There are no tax penalties if:

  • both plans have the same beneficiary, or
  • the beneficiaries of both plans are siblings who are under the age of 21.

Check with your RESP provider to find out if the terms of your plan allow these types of transfers and if there are any fees. Group plans may have more restrictive rules for transfers.

Understand your plan’s rules and penalties for transferring money from one RESP to another.

Take action

Use this RESP calculator to figure out how much you need to save.


You have 60 days after signing your contractContract A binding written or verbal agreement that can be enforced by law.+ read full definition to cancel plans provided by scholarship planScholarship plan A type of Registered Education Savings Plan (RESP) that pools together the money of many investors. An investment manager invests the money for you, often in lower-risk, fixed-income investments such as bonds and GICs. Enrolment fees are often high and there may be strict rules.+ read full definition dealers without any penalty. Be sure to read and understand the rules outlined in the short Plan Summary provided in the plan prospectusProspectus A legal document that sets out the full, true and plain facts you need to know about a security. Contains information about the company or mutual fund selling the security, its management, products or services, plans and business risks.+ read full definition.

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