Student group on stairs

Frequently Asked Questions

The RESP is made up of three parts:

  • Individual contributions (typically made by the RESP's subscriber--the person who opened the RESP)
  • Government contributions (to both the Canada Learning Bond and Canada Education Savings Grant)
  • Any income generated in the account.

Once a youth is enrolled in a qualifying educational program, the RESP's subscriber can withdraw any family contributions made to the RESP tax-free, without impacting any of the government grants received. The subscriber can request that the youth be issued an Educational Assistance Payment (made up of the government's contributions and any income generated in the account), provided that the youth is enrolled in an eligible educational program. 

Note: There are some RESP providers that have specific restrictions on types of qualifying educational programs and when a subscriber can request payments to the youth from the RESP. It is recommended to determine what restrictions, if any, are administered before creating the RESP.

A bank account is not needed to set up an RESP and apply for the Canada Learning Bond. Individual contributions to the RESP can be made at anytime; however, a void cheque is needed to set up automatic contributions to the RESP.

Parents/Guardians can withdraw their own contributions from an RESP at any time; however, any government contributions made to the Canada Education Savings Grant will be returned to the government. The Canada Learning Bond is not affected by a withdrawal.

Note: While some RESP's charge no fees, others may charge enrolment fees, which are typically deducted from a family's contributions (and are partially and/or fully paid back for the child's education). However, if an RESP with enrolment fees was withdrawn early, the subscriber may not get all of their contributions back.

The RESP will remain open for 36 years, allowing the child the opportunity to use it immediately after high school or some time later.

  • Personal contributions are returned to the subscriber
  • The Canada Learning Bond is returned to the Government of Canada
  • The Canada Education Savings Grant can either be shared with a sibling, as long as there is grant room available, or the grant is returned to the Government of Canada.

As soon as an RESP is opened, the child's entitlement to the Canada Learning Bond is tracked and paid out retroactively (if applicable). It is highly recommended to open an RESP and apply for the Canada Learning Bond as soon as possible, as they may be eligible at some point in their lives. 

If the child meets the eligibility criteria for the Canada Learning Bond (either past, present, or future), the subscriber can check their RESP account statement for any eligible grants the child may be receiving. If it doesn't look like the child is receiving all the grants they should, or if an RESP statement has not been provided, the subscriber can contact the RESP provider directly or call the Canada Education Savings Program Hotline at 1.888.276.3624 to check their account.

Social Insurance Number(s) for yourself and/or your dependent(s) can be obtained by taking the necessary original proof of identity documents to the nearest Service Canada office.

If you are a new parent and/or guardian, the easiest way to get a SIN for your child is through the new online birth registration service, which also allows parents and/or guardians to register their child with the following:

  • BC Vital Statistics Agency (to obtain child's birth certificate)
  • Medical Services Plan for BC Residents
  • Canada Child Benefit Program