CESP Annual Statistical Review

1.0 Canada Education Savings Program – Annual Statistical Review

Since its introduction in , the Canada Education Savings Program (CESP) has provided savings incentives to encourage and reinforce the importance of early and sustained savings for a child's post-secondary education specifically using Registered Education Savings Plans (RESPs). Savings in RESPs grow tax-free until they are withdrawn to pay for full- or part-time studies at a trade school, CEGEP, college, or university, or in an apprenticeship program.

The CESP provides two savings incentives linked to RESPs: the Canada Education Savings Grant and the Canada Learning Bond. By increasing an RESP’s value and earning potential, these incentives encourage long-term saving for a child’s education after high school, help make post-secondary education more affordable, and can reduce reliance on student loans.

The Canada Education Savings Grant (CESG) is available to all Canadians and provides a minimum 20% grant on the first $2,500 of annual contributions made for a child in an RESP. Higher CESG rates (30-40%) apply to the first $500 of savings made for children from low- and middle-income families.

In , the Government of Canada introduced the Canada Learning Bond (CLB) for children from low-income families and children in care (i.e. those eligible for the National Child Benefit Supplement (NCBS)). Eligible families do not need to contribute to an RESP to receive the CLB. It provides an initial payment of $500 followed by payments of $100 each year the child remains eligible, up to age 15, for a maximum of $2,000. The CLB is available to eligible children born on or after , and can be applied for retroactively until the beneficiary reaches 21 years of age.

The incentives offered by the CESP are delivered through a unique partnership between the Government of Canada and over 80 financial institutions across Canada that provide RESPs.

About this Report

This report provides annual statistics on RESPs and the incentives provided by the CESP for the period between and , as well as historical data that show trends since the inception of the CESP. Although any child between 0 and 17 years of age can be named as the beneficiary of an RESP, the Annual Statistical Review only reports on those who have received Government of Canada incentive payments into their RESPs.

The primary source of data used to produce this report is the CESP’s Reporting Database, which compiles CESG and CLB data supplied by RESP providers. CESG statistics are calculated based on the transaction date (e.g. the date that a contribution or an Education Assistance Payment was made); whereas the CLB statistics are calculated based on the processing date, which is the date on which the incentive was paid.

1.1 Summary of the Annual Statistical Review

The following provides a snapshot of the key statistics presented in this report.

Value of Registered Education Savings Plan (RESP) Assets

  • The total value of Assets held by Canadians in their RESPs reached $40.5 billion in . The growth was significant when compared with as Assets climbed $4.9 billion (14%). (See RESP Assets by Year for more details).

Annual Registered Education Savings Plan (RESP) Contributions

  • In , families contributed $3.9 billion to their children’s RESPs. This represents an increase of $150 million over . (See Annual RESP Contributions for more details).

Canada Education Savings Grant

  • CESG payments in increased by $29 million (roughly 4%) over to reach $782 million.
  • Since program’s inception in , 47.1% of Canadian children under the age of 18 have received the CESG as of . (See Canada Education Savings Grant for more details).

Canada Learning Bond

  • In , annual CLB payments exceeded $100 million for the first time.
  • Since , the Government of Canada has paid just under half a billion dollars to low-income families in the form of CLBs to encourage them to start saving for their children’s post-secondary education.
  • The CLB participation rate reached 29.4% of eligible children, up from 27.5% in . It should be noted that 42% of the 250,000 (105,800) newly eligible children began receiving the CLB, indicating strong take-up results for this target group. (See Canada Learning Bond for more details).

Supporting Access to Post-Secondary Education

  • In , 356,916 students withdrew $2.74 billion from their RESPs for the purpose of post-secondary education – an increase of 8.7% in the number of students and 15% in the amount withdrawn over .
  • Of this $2.74 billion, more than $1 billion was paid to post-secondary students in the form of Educational Assistance Payments (EAPs), which include CESG, CLB and the income earned on the money saved in the RESPs. (See Supporting Access to Post-Secondary Education for more details).
Summary of the Canada Education Savings Program’s Annual Statistical Review
DESCRIPTION Change between and
REGISTERED EDUCATION SAVINGS PLANS (RESPs)
Total value of RESP assets ($ billion) $31.6 $35.6 $40.5 $4.9
Value of annual RESP contributions ($ billion) $3.59 $3.75* $3.90 $0.15
CANADA EDUCATION SAVINGS GRANT
Canada Education Savings Grant payments
($ million)
$716* $753* $782 $29
Total Canada Education Savings Grant paid since inception in ($ billion) $6.48 $7.24* $8.02 $0.78
Total number of beneficiaries aged 0 to 17 years who have ever received a Canada Education Savings Grant (million) 3.02 3.14 3.26 0.12
Total number of beneficiaries who have ever received a Canada Education Savings Grant  (million) 4.26 4.55 4.84 0.29
Average age of new Canada Education Savings Grant  beneficiaries 3.58 3.54 3.51 -0.03
Canada Education Savings Grant participation rate 43.6% 45.4% 47.1% 1.7%
CANADA LEARNING BOND
Canada Learning Bond payments ($ million) $79 $99 $101 $2
Total Canada Learning Bond paid since inception in ($ million) $299 $398 $499 $101
Total number of children who have ever received a Canada Learning Bond 386,925 498,766 604,566 105,800
Cumulative number of children eligible for Canada Learning Bond (million) 1.58 1.81 2.06 0.25
Average annual contribution per Canada Learning Bond beneficiary ($) $1,005 $1,013 $1,031 $18
Total amount contributed to RESPs by families of Canada Learning Bond beneficiaries($ billion) $1.23 $1.78 $2.41 $0.63
Canada Learning Bond participation rate 24.4% 27.5% 29.4% 1.9%
ACCESS TO POST-SECONDARY EDUCATION
The total amount withdrawn from RESPs in a calendar year to pay for PSE ($ billion) $2.07 $2.38 $2.74 $0.36
The total number of RESP beneficiaries using RESPs to pay for PSE 299,709 328,244 356,916 28,672
The average RESP withdrawals per student to pay for post-secondary education ($) $6,907 $7,235 $7,673 $438

* These numbers have been updated to reflect additional financial transactions submitted by RESP providers.

2.0 RESPs - Registered Education Savings Plans

A Registered Education Savings Plan (RESP) is an education savings vehicle that can help Canadians save for post-secondary education. RESPs are registered by the Government of Canada to allow savings for education to grow tax-free until the person named in the RESP enrolls in post-secondary education. The value of RESPs can grow through contributions made by RESP subscribers, amounts of grant and bond provided by the Government of Canada, and growth in the value of the Assets.

This section provides information on the total amount held in RESPs (Assets).

2.1 RESP Assets by Year

The chart below represents the total market value of Assets in RESPs in Canada as of of each year. This value represents the amount available for funding children’s post-secondary education.

Since CESP’s inception in , the value of Assets has grown by $2.4 billion per year on average, with the exception of when the Assets dropped due to the economic downturn. In , Assets reached $40.5 billion, representing a growth of $4.9 billion (14%) over .

RESP Assets by Year ($ billion)
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    Graph of RESP Assets by Year. Monetary amounts are in billions of dollars. Years range from to . The value of RESP Assets was $4 billion in. Since then, RESP assets have grown gradually to $5.6 billion in; $7.2 billion in; $8.2 billion in; $10 billion in; $12.6 billion in; $15.2 billion in; $18 billion in; $21.3 billion in; and $23.4 billion in. In, the value dropped to $22.6 billion but continued rising again to $25.9 billion in, $27.6 billion in, $31.6 billion in, $35.6 billion in, and $40.5 billion in.

2.2 Proportion of RESP Assets by Provider Type

RESP providers are financial organizations that provide RESPs to the public. They administer all amounts paid into a plan and ensure that the withdrawals from RESPs are made according to the terms of the plans and the laws that govern RESPs. The CESP is currently delivered through more than 80 RESP providers.

In , the largest market share of RESP Assets was held by Investment Services that managed 46.5% of the total Assets. Group Plan Promoters had the second largest share with 25.4%, and were closely followed by the Banking Services, which managed 24.7% of the total Assets. Insurance and Other managed 3.4% of the Assets.

RESP Asset Values by Provider Type
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    Pie chart of Proportions of RESP Asset Values by Provider Type. In , Investment Services had 46.5% of market share; Banking Services had 24.7% of market share; Group Plan Promoters had 25.4% of market share; and Insurance and Other had 3.4% of market share.

Note: CESP updated its RESP provider classification system which now breaks down into four provider types instead of five. See Canada Education Savings Program Terms and Definitions for more details on how each provider type is defined.

2.3 Proportion of Canada Education Savings Grant Payments by Provider Type

In , the Investment Services received 39.3% of all Canada Education Savings Grant (CESGs), followed by Banking Services (29.9%) and Group Plan Promoters (27.0%). Insurance and Other received 3.8% of the grant payments.

Canada Education Savings Grant Payments in by Provider Type
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    Pie chart of Canada Education Savings Grant Payments in by Provider Type. Of total Canada Education Savings Grant payments, Investment Services received 39.3%; Banking Services received 29.9%; Group Plan Promoters received 27%; and Insurance and Other received 3.8%.

Note: CESP updated its RESP provider classification system which now breaks down into four provider types instead of five. See Canada Education Savings Program Terms and Definitions for more details on how each provider type is defined.

2.4 Proportion of Canada Learning Bond Payments by Provider Type

With 49.5%, Banking Services accounted for the largest share of the total Canada Learning Bond (CLB) payments that were made by the Government of Canada to RESPs in . They were followed by Group Plan Promoters, which received 27.6% of CLB payments. Investment Services and Insurance and Other received 17.3% and 5.6%, respectively, in .

Canada Learning Bond Payments in by Provider Type
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    Pie chart of Canada Learning Bond Payments in by Provider Type. Of the total Canada Learning Bond payments, Investment Services accounted for 17.3%; Banking Services accounted for 49.5%; Group Plan Promoters accounted for 27.6%; and, Insurance and Other accounted for 5.6%.

Note: CESP updated its RESP provider classification system which now breaks down into four provider types instead of five. See Canada Education Savings Program Terms and Definitions for more details on how each provider type is defined.

3.0 Contributions to Registered Education Savings Plans

A contribution is the amount of savings deposited into a Registered Education Savings Plan (RESP) account on behalf of a child, known as the beneficiary of the RESP. Earnings on RESP savings can grow tax-free until the money is withdrawn by the beneficiary to finance their post-secondary studies.

3.1 Annual RESP Contributions

Annual contributions have increased by 4% for the past three years. In alone, contributions to RESPs increased to $3.9 billion, representing a $15 million increase over .

Annual RESP Contributions ($ billion)
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    Graph of Annual RESP Contributions. Monetary amounts are in billions of dollars. Years range from to . Amount of annual contributions was $1.87 billion in ; $1.99 billion in ; $2.06 billion in ; $2.27 billion in ; $2.46 billion in ; $2.67 billion in ; $2.99 billion in ; $3.10 billion in ; $3.18 billion in ; $3.44 billion in ; $3.59 billion in ; $3.75 billion in ; and, $3.90 billion in . Year-over-year change in contributions was 9% in ; 6% in ; 4% in ; 10% in ; 8% in each of and ; 12% in ; 4% in ; 2% in ; 8% in ; 4% in each of , and .

Note: Contributions made in have been updated to reflect additional financial transactions submitted by RESP providers.

3.2 Average Annual RESP Contributions per Beneficiary

An RESP beneficiary is usually a child (age 0-17) but can be any person (over the age of 18) named by the subscriber to receive money for the purpose of post-secondary education.

The average annual RESP contribution was $1,474 in compared with $1,455 a year earlier. Between and , the average contribution to RESPs experienced some fluctuations; however, since , the average has remained relatively stable at $1,461.

Average Annual Contributions ($) per Beneficiary
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    Graph of Average Annual Contributions Per Beneficiary. The amounts are in dollars. Years range from to . In , the average contribution was $1,313. It dropped to $1,284 in . The average contribution was $1,291 in , $1,329 in , $1,353 in and $1,362 in . In , it surpassed the $1,400 mark with $1,429 contributed on average. In , it increased to $1,444, then decreased to $1,423 in and went up again to $1,463 in . The average annual contribution was $1,453 in , $1,455 in , and $1,474 in .

3.3 Average Annual RESP Contributions per Beneficiary by Province and Territory

In , all provinces and territories experienced growth in their average annual RESP contributions except for Yukon, Northwest Territories and Prince Edward Island. Since , Nunavut, British Columbia, Ontario, the Yukon and Northwest Territories have had average contributions higher than the national average, which was $1,474 in .

Average Annual RESP Contributions per Beneficiary by Province and Territory
Province and Territory
($)

($)

($)

($)

($)
Nunavut 1,565 1,593 1,792 1,882 1,968
British Columbia 1,580 1,632 1,632 1,645 1,667
Ontario 1,552 1,600 1,592 1,596 1,623
Yukon 1,432 1,627 1,526 1,584 1,555
Northwest Territories 1,575 1,599 1,460 1,538 1,522
Alberta 1,413 1,439 1,426 1,434 1,440
Saskatchewan 1,286 1,331 1,314 1,339 1,370
Nova Scotia 1,194 1,228 1,219 1,221 1,244
Manitoba 1,219 1,230 1,230 1,205 1,207
Prince Edward Island 1,168 1,226 1,236 1,205 1,191
Quebec 1,165 1,193 1,172 1,166 1,185
Newfoundland and Labrador 1,052 1,093 1,106 1,130 1,154
New Brunswick 1,039 1,075 1,076 1,091 1,129
CANADA 1,423 1,463 1,453 1,455 1,474

3.4 Contribution Amount per Beneficiary

Consistent with the trend seen in past years, roughly half of the children who had contributions deposited into their RESPs in received between $1 and $1,000 in contributions. Only 13.2% of beneficiaries received more than $2,500 in contributions.

Although there is no annual limit on the amount that may be saved in an RESP each year, CESGs are paid on the first $2,500 saved annually. The lifetime contribution limit is $50,000.

Not all families contribute to their children’s RESPs every year. As of , there were 3.26 million Canada Education Savings Grant (CESG) beneficiaries aged 0 to 17 years. Of this total, 2.52 million beneficiaries (77%) received contributions to their RESPs whereas 740,000 children did not.

Distribution of Beneficiaries by Contribution Category
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    Pie chart showing Distribution of Beneficiaries by Contribution Category. In , 23.9% of the children received up to $500 in contributions to their RESPs, while another 23.5% received between $501 and $1,000. 17.6% children received between $1,001 and $1,500; 7.4% received between $1,501 and $2,000; 14.4% received between $2,001 and $2,500 in contributions to their RESPs. Finally, 13.2% of the children received more than $2,500 in contributions to their RESPs in .

4.0 Canada Education Savings Grant

A Canada Education Savings Grant (CESG) is money offered by the Government of Canada to help families start saving early for their children’s education after high school. The CESG is calculated based on contributions made to a Registered Education Savings Plan (RESP) for an eligible beneficiary and consists of two components:

  • Basic CESG
  • Additional CESG

The Basic CESG is a payment of 20% on the first $2,500 of contributions saved into an RESP made on behalf of an eligible beneficiary, until the end of the calendar year in which the beneficiary turns 17.

The Additional CESG is a top up to the Basic CESG that the Government of Canada offers to encourage lower income families save for their children’s education. This grant is an additional payment of 10% or 20% that is applied to the first $500 saved on behalf of an eligible beneficiary, until the end of the calendar year in which the beneficiary turns 17.

4.1 Annual Canada Education Savings Grant Payments

In , total CESG payments increased to $782 million from $753 million in , representing a 4% increase. Of the total CESG payments, $54 million (7%) was in Additional CESG payments, while $728 million (93%) was in the form of Basic CESG payments.

Annual Canada Education Savings Grant Payments ($ million)
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    Graph of Annual Canada Education Savings Grant (CESG) Payments. Monetary amounts are in millions of dollars. Years range from to . CESG payments have two components: Basic CESG payments and Additional CESG payments. Basic CESG payments range from to , while Additional CESG payments – implemented in – range from to . The Basic CESG payment was $151 million in ; $291 million in ; $318 million in ; $348 million in ; $370 million in ; $389 million in ; $426 million in ; $462 million in ; $500 million in ; $557 million in ; $575 million in ; $593 million in ; $641 million in ; $670 million in ; $701 million in ; and, $728 million in . The Additional CESG payment was $7 million in ; $14 million in ; $22 million in ; $29 million in ; $35 million in ; $39 million in ; $46 million in ; $52 million in ; and, $54 million in . The total CESG payment was $151 million in , $291 million in , $318 million in , $348 million in , $370 million in , $389 million in , $426 million in , $470 million in , $514 million in , $579 million in , $604 million in , $627 million in , $680 million in , $716 million in ; $753 million in , and $782 million in .

4.2 Annual Payments by Province and Territory

In , RESP contributions made for beneficiaries living in Ontario attracted 47% of the total CESG payments made by the Government of Canada. This was followed by 17.1% that went to beneficiaries living in Quebec. Another 14.3% went to beneficiaries living in British Columbia and 12% to those living in Alberta. Beneficiaries living in the remaining provinces and territories received close to 10% of total CESG payments.

Annual Payments by Province and Territory ($ million)
Province and Territory * * * * CESG
Payment
Proportion
in (%)
Ontario 288.9 299.9 325.7 342.2 357.3 367.3 47.0
Quebec 93.5 99.6 109.3 117.7 126.7 133.7 17.1
British Columbia 88.6 91.3 98.5 103.0 107.6 111.9 14.3
Alberta 71.2 73.3 79.0 83.6 89.1 94.0 12.0
Saskatchewan 15.8 16.1 17.4 18.2 19.3 20.4 2.6
Manitoba 15.0 15.7 16.9 18.0 19.0 19.7 2.5
Nova Scotia 11.0 11.3 12.1 12.4 12.8 13.1 1.7
New Brunswick 8.9 9.2 9.7 9.8 10.1 10.4 1.3
Newfoundland and Labrador 6.5 6.8 7.3 7.5 7.7 7.8 1.0
Prince Edward Island 1.7 1.7 1.9 2.0 2.0 2.0 0.3
Northwest Territories 0.6 0.6 0.6 0.6 0.7 0.7 0.1
Yukon 0.5 0.5 0.6 0.6 0.7 0.7 0.1
Nunavut 0.1 0.1 0.1 0.2 0.2 0.2 0.02
CANADA 604 627 680 716 753 782 100

* These numbers have been updated to reflect additional financial transactions submitted by RESP providers.

4.3 Canada Education Savings Grant Summary Statistics by Province and Territory

As of , the national participation rate for the CESG was 47.1%. The participation rate is calculated by dividing the number of children, 0 to 17 years of age, who have ever received the grant by the total number of children in Canada of this same age group.

The table presents the provincial, territorial and national CESG participation statistics. In , the CESG participation rates in Ontario, British Columbia and Alberta surpassed the national participation rate of 47.1%. Through the CESP, the Government of Canada has paid out more than $8 billion in CESG since the program’s inception in .

Canada Education Savings Grant Summary Statistics by Province and Territory as of December
Province and Territory Number of CESG Beneficiaries
(age 0-17)
(1)
 Number of Eligible Children
(age 0-17)
(2)
CESG Participation Rate =
(1)÷(2) (%)
(3)
Cumulative CESG Payment
($ million)
(4)
Ontario 1,389,964 2,701,384 51.5 3,832.7
British Columbia 428,250 844,206 50.7 1,174.1
Alberta 414,248 847,250 48.9 947.3
Newfoundland and Labrador 39,826 92,727 42.9 90.4
Quebec 653,792 1,526,782 42.8 1,232.9
New Brunswick 58,084 138,949 41.8 119.8
Nova Scotia 66,853 170,034 39.3 153.9
Yukon 2,861 7,396 38.7 7.1
Prince Edward Island 10,930 28,736 38.0 23.7
Saskatchewan 89,632 248,462 36.1 218.2
Manitoba 99,247 289,377 34.3 208.4
Northwest Territories 3,086 11,172 27.6 7.5
Nunavut 667 12,647 5.3 1.5
CANADA 3,257,917 6,919,122 47.1 8,019

4.4 Canada Education Savings Grant Beneficiaries

A beneficiary is a child between the age of 0 and 17 who receives the grant from the Government of Canada based on the amount saved in his or her RESP account by a parent, grandparent or other individuals (subscribers of RESPs).

4.5 Average Age and Number of New Beneficiaries

When the Canada Education Savings Program (CESP) began in , the average age of new beneficiaries was almost 8 years of age. Over the last fifteen years, the average age has steadily decreased to just over 3.5 years in .

The number of new beneficiaries in reached 291,000. In , a large number of families opened an RESP for the first time and received the CESG. Since then, the annual number of new beneficiaries steadily decreased until 2005 when the Additional CESG and the Canada Learning Bond (CLB) were introduced. Between and , the annual number of new beneficiaries experienced a fluctuating trend.

Average Age and Number of New Beneficiaries by Year
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    Graph of Average Age and Number of New Beneficiaries by Year. The annual number of new beneficiaries is in thousands. Years range from to . In , there were 698,000 new CESG beneficiaries; in , there were 434,000 new CESG beneficiaries; in , there were 317,000 new CESG beneficiaries; in , there were 279,000 new CESG beneficiaries; in , there were 257,000 new CESG beneficiaries; in , there were 206,000 new CESG beneficiaries; in , there were 218,000 new CESG beneficiaries; in , there were 234,000 new CESG beneficiaries; in , there were 271,000 new CESG beneficiaries; in , there were 276,000 new CESG beneficiaries; in , there were 263,000 new CESG beneficiaries; in , there were 251,000 new CESG beneficiaries; in , there were 256,000 new CESG beneficiaries; in , there were 273,000 new CESG beneficiaries; in , there were 272,000 new CESG beneficiaries; and in , there were 291,000 new CESG beneficiaries. The average age of these new beneficiaries was 7.98 in , 6.91 in , 6.17 in , 5.74 in , 5.40 in , 5.38 in , 5.22 in , 4.82 in , 4.34 in , 4.15 in , 3.87 in , 3.63 in , 3.60 in , 3.58 in , 3.54 in , and 3.51 in .

4.6 Cumulative Number of Beneficiaries Who Have Ever Received a Canada Education Savings Grant

As of , 4.84 million beneficiaries of all ages have received a CESG since . Among them, 3.26 million are between the ages of 0 and 17 years while 1.58 million are over the age of 17 and are eligible to withdraw from their RESPs to finance their post-secondary education.

Cumulative Number of Beneficiaries by Age Group and Year (million)
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    Graph of Cumulative Number of Beneficiaries by Age Group and Year. The cumulative number of beneficiaries is in millions. Years range from to . The number of beneficiaries is given for two age categories: between 0 and 17 years of age, and over 17 years of age. All beneficiaries in these counts have received the CESG at least once in their lifetime. The following is the count of beneficiaries over 17 years of age as of each year: in , there were no beneficiaries; as of , there were 10,000 beneficiaries; as of , there were 40,000 beneficiaries; as of , there were 80,000 beneficiaries; as of , there were 150,000 beneficiaries; as of , there were 230,000 beneficiaries; as of , there were 320,000 beneficiaries; as of , there were 420,000 beneficiaries; as of , there were 530,000 beneficiaries; as of , there were 650,000 beneficiaries; as of , there were 790,000 beneficiaries; as of , there were 920,000 beneficiaries; as of , there were 1.08 million beneficiaries; as of , there were 1.24 million beneficiaries; as of , there were 1.41 million beneficiaries; and, as of , there were 1.58 million beneficiaries. The following is the count of beneficiaries between 0 and 17 years of age as of each year: in , there were 700,000 beneficiaries; as of , there were 1.12 million beneficiaries; as of , there were 1.41 million beneficiaries; as of , there were 1.65 million beneficiaries; as of , there were 1.84 million beneficiaries; as of , there were 1.97 million beneficiaries; as of , there were 2.09 million beneficiaries; as of , there were 2.23 million beneficiaries; as of , there were 2.39 million beneficiaries; as of , there were 2.54 million beneficiaries; as of , there were 2.66 million beneficiaries; as of , there were 2.76 million beneficiaries; as of , there were 2.88 million beneficiaries; as of , there were 3.02 million beneficiaries; as of , there were 3.14 million beneficiaries; and, as of , there were 3.26 million beneficiaries.

4.7 Annual Number of Beneficiaries Who Received Basic and Additional Canada Education Savings Grant

In , 2.52 million beneficiaries received the CESG. Of these beneficiaries, 1.66 million children received the Basic CESG while 860,000 children received the Additional CESG. The proportion of beneficiaries who received the Additional CESG has been growing continuously since the introduction of this incentive in .

Number of Beneficiaries Who Received Basic and Additional Grant
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    Graph of Number of Beneficiaries Who Received Basic and Additional Grant. Number of beneficiaries is in millions. Years range from to . The number of beneficiaries receiving Basic CESG only was 700,000 in ; 1.05 million in ; 1.24 million in ; 1.38 million in ; 1.49 million in ; 1.55 million in ; 1.65 million in . In , the number of beneficiaries receiving Additional CESG was 120,000 while the number of beneficiaries receiving Basic CESG only was 1.63 million; in , the number of beneficiaries receiving Additional CESG was 230,000 while the number of beneficiaries receiving Basic CESG only was 1.65 million; in , the number of beneficiaries receiving Additional CESG was 350,000 while the number of beneficiaries receiving Basic CESG only was 1.66 million; in , the number of beneficiaries receiving Additional CESG was 450,000 while the number of beneficiaries receiving Basic CESG only was 1.62 million; in , the number of beneficiaries receiving Additional CESG was 530,000 while the number of beneficiaries receiving Basic CESG only was 1.60 million; in , the number of beneficiaries receiving Additional CESG was 580,000 while the number of beneficiaries receiving Basic CESG only was 1.63 million; in , the number of beneficiaries receiving Additional CESG was 700,000 while the number of beneficiaries receiving Basic CESG only was 1.61 million; in , the number of beneficiaries receiving Additional CESG was 800,000 while the number of beneficiaries receiving Basic CESG only was 1.62 million; and, in , the number of beneficiaries receiving Additional CESG was 860,000 while the number of beneficiaries receiving Basic CESG only was 1.66 million. The total number of beneficiaries was 700,000 in , 1.05 million in , 1.24 million in , 1.38 million in , 1.49 million in , 1.55 million in , 1.65 million in , 1.75 million in , 1.88 million in , 2.01 million in , 2.07 million in , 2.13 million in , 2.21 million in , 2.31 million in , 2.42 million in , and 2.52 million in .

4.8 Cumulative Number of Beneficiaries by Province and Territory

The map below illustrates the cumulative number of beneficiaries who have received the CESG between and , by province and territory.

Cumulative Number of Beneficiaries by Province and Territory (Thousands)
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    In , the cumulative number of beneficiaries in Canada grew by 4.6%. Similar to , Ontario, Quebec, British Columbia and Alberta continued to lead the jurisdictions by accounting for 88% of all beneficiaries in Canada.

    Cumulative Number of Beneficiaries by Province and Territory (Thousands)
    Province and Territory
    Ontario 1,529 1,630 1,751 1,877 1,998 2,112
    Quebec 607 655 711 773 839 905
    British Columbia 474 504 540 577 613 652
    Alberta 407 438 474 511 550 593
    Manitoba 105 112 121.2 131 140 150
    Saskatchewan 104 110 117 125 133 141
    Nova Scotia 81 86 91 96 101 106
    New Brunswick 70 74 79 82 86 90
    Newfoundland and Labrador 49 51 54 57 59 62
    Prince Edward Island 14 14 15 16 17 18
    Northwest Territories 2.6 2.7 3.0 4.0 4.2 4.5
    Yukon 3.2 3.4 4.0 3.9 4.1 4.4
    Nunavut 1.6 1.7 2.0 0.8 0.9 0.9
    CANADA 3,448 3,683 3,962 4,255 4,548 4,839

4.9 Canada Education Savings Grant Participation Rates

The Canada Education Savings Grant participation rate is defined as the cumulative number of RESP beneficiaries (age 0 to 17) who have ever received a grant divided by the total number of children (age 0 to 17) in the Canadian population. The graphical representation shows that between 2000 and 2013, the cumulative number of RESP beneficiaries has steadily increased, while the size of the population for this cohort has remained relatively flat.

CESG Participation Rates By Year
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    Graph of Canada Education Savings Grant Participation Rate by Year. Both the cumulative number of beneficiaries of ages 0 to 17 and population of children aged 0 to 17 are in millions. Participation rate is in percentages. Years range from to . As of , there were 1.41 million CESG beneficiaries in the population of 7.10 million children aged 0 to 17; as of , there were 1.65 million CESG beneficiaries in the population of 7.07 million children aged 0 to 17; as of , there were 1.84 million CESG beneficiaries in the population of 7.02 million children aged 0 to 17; as of , there were 1.97 million CESG beneficiaries in the population of 6.97 million children aged 0 to 17; as of , there were 2.09 million CESG beneficiaries in the population of 6.91 million children aged 0 to 17; as of , there were 2.23 million CESG beneficiaries in the population of 6.88 million children aged 0 to 17; as of , there were 2.39 million CESG beneficiaries in the population of 6.84 million children aged 0 to 17; as of , there were 2.54 million CESG beneficiaries in the population of 6.71 million children aged 0 to 17; as of , there were 2.66 million CESG beneficiaries in the population of 6.71 million children aged 0 to 17; as of , there were 2.76 million CESG beneficiaries in the population of 6.79 million children aged 0 to 17; as of , there were 2.88 million CESG beneficiaries in the population of 6.74 million children aged 0 to 17; as of , there were 3.02 million CESG beneficiaries in the population of 6.93 million children aged 0 to 17; as of , there were 3.14 million CESG beneficiaries in the population of 6.92 million children aged 0 to 17; and, as of , there were 3.26 million CESG beneficiaries in the population of 6.92 million children aged 0 to 17. The cumulative Canada Education Savings Grant participation rate was 19.9% as of , 23.3% as of , 26.2% as of , 28.2% as of , 30.3% as of , 32.4% as of , 34.9% as of , 37.8% as of , 39.7% as of , 40.6% as of , 42.8% as of , 43.6% as of , 45.4% as of , and 47.1% as of .

4.10 Canada Education Savings Grant Participation Rates by Province and Territory and by Year

In , Ontario had the highest participation rate with 51.5% followed British Columbia with 50.7% and Alberta with 48.9%. Other provinces and territories witnessed a moderate rise in CESG participation rates.

Canada Education Savings Grant Participation Rates by Province and Territory and Year
Province and Territory
(%)

(%)

(%)

(%)

(%)

(%)

(%)
Ontario 41.2 43.2 44.0 46.1 48.3 50.2 51.5
British Columbia 39.3 41.1 44.8 47.0 47.4 49.1 50.7
Alberta 43.6 46.0 43.2 45.5 44.4 46.2 48.9
Newfoundland and Labrador 38.4 39.4 41.9 44.3 42.0 42.4 42.9
Québec 31.5 33.6 35.0 37.5 38.2 40.5 42.8
New Brunswick 37.1 38.5 39.7 41.4 40.6 41.5 41.8
Nova Scotia 32.9 33.6 34.9 36.6 37.4 38.8 39.3
Yukon 38.2 39.4 38.4 41.8 36.5 37.2 38.7
Prince Edward Island 32.2 33.2 35.9 37.5 36.2 37.6 38.0
Saskatchewan 30.9 31.9 33.8 35.4 33.9 34.7 36.1
Manitoba 28.6 29.9 29.8 31.5 31.6 32.9 34.3
Northwest Territories 18.1 18.6 17.1 17.5 26.0 26.9 27.6
Nunavut 11.7 12.0 11.2 11.5 5.2 5.2 5.3
CANADA 37.8 39.7 40.6 42.8 43.6 45.4 47.1

Note: The participation rate is calculated as the cumulative number of beneficiaries (age 0-17) who have ever received a Canada Education Savings Grant as of the end of each year divided by the total number of children (age 0-17) in the Canadian population, as reflected in the Annual Demographic Estimates by Statistics Canada.

5.0 Canada Learning Bond

To kick-start education savings for low-income families, the Government of Canada created the Canada Learning Bond (CLB) in . The CLB is given to children from families who are eligible to receive the National Child Benefit Supplement (NCBS), when an RESP account is opened on their behalf. The Government of Canada provides an initial CLB of $500 to children born after plus an additional $100 per year of eligibility until age 15, up to a maximum of $2,000. The CLB is paid to a child’s RESP and does not require matching savings from the subscriber.

5.1 Annual Number of New Canada Learning Bond Beneficiaries and Eligible Children

In , 105,800 new beneficiaries from low-income families began receiving the CLB. This number dropped 5% relative to , when 111,841 children received the CLB for the first time.

Number of New Canada Learning Bond Beneficiaries by Year
Number of New Beneficiaries 48,767 64,485 71,602 81,154 93,984 111,841 105,800

Note: The number of new beneficiaries represents those who received the CLB for the first time ever in a given year, as opposed to the total number of children who have ever received a CLB, as reported in the Summary of the CESP’s Annual Statistical Review and in the CLB Summary Statistics by Province and Territory.

Between and , the number of children eligible to receive the CLB has doubled. In , 1,356,353 children were eligible for the CLB. This number includes children who were eligible in previous years as well as those who became eligible for the first time in .

Number of Canada Learning Bond Eligible Children by Year
Annual Number of Eligible Children 626,197 759,008 925,783 948,519 1,086,936 1,226,379 1,356,353

Note: The annual number of eligible children provides a snapshot of how many children were eligible for the CLB in a given year. This annual number is different from the cumulative number of children eligible for CLB, as presented in the Summary of the CESP’s Annual Statistical Review and in the CLB Summary Statistics by Province and Territory.

5.2 Annual Canada Learning Bond Payments and Number of Beneficiaries

Annual CLB payments surpassed the $100 million mark in . Annual payments increased 1.3% relative to .

In , 384,100 children received the CLB. The number of beneficiaries includes 105,800 children who received the CLB for the first time and 278,300 children who continued to receive the bond. The number of beneficiaries increased 13.7% from .

Canada Learning Bond Annual Payments and Beneficiaries
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    Graph of Canada Learning Bond Annual Payments and Number of Beneficiaries. The monetary amounts are in millions of dollars and the number of beneficiaries is in thousands. Years range from to . In , a total of 800 children received $450,000 in CLB; in , a total of 26,700 children received $16.74 million in CLB; in , 66,500 children received $33.7 million in CLB; in , 109,700 children received $47.42 million in CLB; in , 156,800 children received $56.46 million in CLB; in , 205,600 children received $65.18 million in CLB; in , 268,300 children received $79.02 million in CLB; in , 337,700 children received $99.41 million in CLB; and, in , 384,100 children received $100.66 million in CLB.

5.3 Savings Made on Behalf of Canada Learning Bond Beneficiaries ( - )

Since inception, 604,566 children had received the CLB by . Of these, 97.4% of beneficiaries (588,750 children) received a contribution to their RESPs for a total of $2.41 billion in cumulative savings over the 8-year-period between and .

Savings Made on Behalf of Canada Learning Bond Beneficiaries
As of Number of
Canada Learning
Bond
Beneficiaries
with Savings
Total Number of
Canada Learning
Bond
Beneficiaries
Cumulative
Contribution
Rate
(%)
Total Amount
Saved

($ billion)
December 588,750 604,566 97.4% 2.41

5.4 Annual Contribution Rate and Average Contributions for Canada Learning Bond Beneficiaries

In , nearly 80% of beneficiaries who received a CLB payment also received a contribution to their RESP. The average contribution for CLB beneficiaries was $1,031.

Average Contributions and Contribution rate by Year
Year
Annual Rate of Contribution 88.2% 85.5% 83.3% 81.7% 80.8% 79.9%
Average Contributions $1,045 $1,023 $1,015 $1,005 $1,013 $1,031

5.5 Canada Learning Bond Participation Rate by Province and Territory and by Year

The CLB participation rate is a ratio between the number of CLB beneficiaries and eligible children. It is the number of children who have ever received a CLB, expressed as a percentage of the total number of children eligible for the bond, as of a given year.

The cumulative CLB participation rate as of was 29.4%. Among the provinces and territories, British Columbia, Quebec and Ontario surpassed the national participation rate.

Canada Learning Bond Participation Rate by Province and Territory and Year
Province and Territory
(%)

(%)

(%)

(%)

(%)

(%)
British Columbia 20.2 22.7 24.7 27.2 31.8 34.3
Quebec 19.2 22.2 24.5 27.2 30.7 32.8
Ontario 16.4 18.8 21.4 24.6 29.1 30.9
Alberta 15.8 18.4 20.8 22.9 25.3 27.3
New Brunswick 15.2 18.5 20.1 20.2 21.0 21.9
Prince Edward Island 10.2 13.1 15.7 17.7 19.7 21.8
Manitoba 9.6 15.4 19.0 22.3 19.3 20.9
Nova Scotia 9.7 12.5 15.5 17.6 19.1 20.5
Newfoundland and Labrador 11.6 15.1 17.0 17.4 19.0 19.7
Yukon 9.3 11.3 12.9 14.5 16.3 19.4
Saskatchewan 10.1 15.4 18.0 19.6 17.7 18.7
Northwest Territories 4.1 6.0 7.1 8.4 8.3 8.8
Nunavut 0.7 1.3 1.7 1.4 0.9 1.0
CANADA 16.3 19.3 21.8 24.4 27.5 29.4

5.6 Dynamics of Canada Learning Bond Participation

The CLB participation rate grew from 27.5% in to 29.4% in , representing an increase of 1.9 percentage points. However it should be noted that since the CLB is available only to children born after , each year the population of children potentially eligible to receive the bond grows with the birth rate, thus participation increases are stronger than they may appear.  For example, in , 250,000 children became newly eligible for the CLB in , as evidenced by the increase in the cumulative number of eligible children to 2.06 million from 1.81 million. Of these children, 42% (105,800) began receiving the CLB. In , the number of beneficiaries grew by 20%, while there were 14% more eligible children than in .

Canada Learning Bond Participation Rates By Year
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    Graph of Canada Learning Bond Participation Rate by Year. Both the cumulative number of beneficiaries and eligible children are in millions. Participation rate is in percentages. Years range from to . As of , there were 26,933 CLB beneficiaries out of 573,042 eligible children; as of , there were 80,000 CLB beneficiaries out of 640,000 eligible children; as of , there were 140,000 CLB beneficiaries out of 860,000 eligible children; as of , there were 210,000 CLB beneficiaries out of 1.09 million eligible children; as of , there were 290,000 CLB beneficiaries out of 1.34 million eligible children; as of , there were 390,000 CLB beneficiaries out of 1.58 million eligible children; as of , there were 500,000 CLB beneficiaries out of 1.81 million eligible children; and, as of , there were 600,000 CLB beneficiaries out of 2.06 million eligible children. The cumulative Canada Learning Bond participation rate was 4.7% as of , 11.8% as of , 16.3% as of , 19.3% as of , 21.8% as of , 24.4% as of , 27.5% as of , and 29.4% as of .

5.7 Canada Learning Bond Summary Statistics by Province and Territory

The provincial and territorial cumulative statistics related to the CLB demonstrate that 604,566 of the 2.06 million eligible children (29.4%) have ever received the incentive from the Government of Canada. Cumulative CLB payments amounted to $499 million as of .

Canada Learning Bond Summary Statistics by Province and Territory as of December 31,
Province and Territory Total Number of Children Who Have Ever Received a CLB
(1)
Cumulative Number of Children Eligible for the CLB
(2)
CLB Participation Rate =
(1)/(2)(%)
(3)
Cumulative CLB Payment
($ million)
(4)
British Columbia 81,719 238,135 34.3 66.53
Quebec 153,397 467,294 32.8 125.95
Ontario 234,161 756,943 30.9 199.30
Alberta 68,974 252,218 27.3 53.12
New Brunswick 9,112 41,583 21.9 7.85
Prince Edward Island 1,781 8,181 21.8 1.47
Manitoba 22,053 105,590 20.9 17.91
Nova Scotia 10,565 51,430 20.5 8.75
Newfoundland and Labrador 5,388 27,377 19.7 4.51
Yukon 370 1,905 19.4 0.28
Saskatchewan 16,449 88,088 18.7 13.04
Northwest Territories 304 3,444 8.8 0.25
Nunavut 59 5,852 1.0 0.05
CANADA 604,566 2,055,286 29.4 499

6.0 Supporting Access to Post-Secondary Education

The Government of Canada supports Canadian families and individuals who want to pursue post-secondary education after graduating from high school by encouraging them to save in Registered Education Savings Plans (RESPs). These savings provide a significant source of funding for post-secondary education that complements loans, grants, scholarships and bursaries to ensure that Canadians have the financial support they need.

6.1 RESP Withdrawals

In , 356,916 students withdrew $2.74 billion from their RESPs for their post-secondary education. The average withdrawal was $7,673, which represents an increase of 6% over .

RESP Withdrawals
Year
(1) Total Value (billion) $1.50 $1.60 $1.92 $2.07 $2.38 $2.74
(2) Number of Students 231,679 251,159 287,865 299,709 328,244 356,916
(3) Average = (1)/(2) $6,474 $6,370 $6,680 $6,907 $7,235 $7,673

6.2 Educational Assistance Payments and Post-Secondary Education Withdrawals by Year

Educational Assistance Payments (EAPs) are amounts paid from an RESP to an eligible beneficiary to assist with education-related expenses at the post-secondary level. The EAPs include the Canada Education Savings Grant, the Canada Learning Bond, and the income earned on the money saved in the RESP. Payments to a beneficiary are made according to the specific terms of the RESP. A post-secondary education withdrawal (PSE withdrawals), on the other hand, is a withdrawal of contributions made by the RESP subscribers.

In , $1.02 billion was paid to post-secondary students as EAPs while $1.72 billion was withdrawn in the form of PSE withdrawals. This was the first time in Canada Education Savings Program’s (CESP’s) history that EAPs reached over a billion dollars.

Educational Assistance Payments and Post-Secondary Education Withdrawals by Year
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    Graph of Educational Assistance Payments and Post-Secondary Education Withdrawals by Year. Monetary amounts are in millions of dollars. Years range from to . RESP withdrawals for PSE are given by total withdrawals, EAPs and PSE withdrawals. For post-secondary education purposes, $45 million was withdrawn in ($38 million in PSE withdrawals and $7 million in EAPs); $95 million was withdrawn in ($55 million in PSE withdrawals and $40 million in EAPs); $235 million was withdrawn in ($145 million in PSE withdrawals and $90 million in EAPs); $450 million was withdrawn in ($292 million in PSE withdrawals and $158 million in EAPs); $639 million was withdrawn in ($403 million in PSE withdrawals and $236 million in EAPs); $840 million was withdrawn in ($516 million in PSE withdrawals and $324 million in EAPs); $1,086 million was withdrawn in ($648 million in PSE withdrawals and $438 million in EAPs); $1,324 million was withdrawn in ($772 million in PSE withdrawals and $552 million in EAPs); $1,500 million was withdrawn in ($956 million in PSE withdrawals and $544 million in EAPs); $1,600 million was withdrawn in ($1,020 million in PSE withdrawals and $580 million in EAPs); $1,923 million was withdrawn in ($1,226 million in PSE withdrawals and $697 million in EAPs); $2,072 million was withdrawn in ($1,356 million in PSE withdrawals and $715 million in EAPs); $2,375 million was withdrawn in ($1,559 million in PSE withdrawals and $816 million in EAPs); and, $2,739 million was withdrawn in ($1,718 million in PSE withdrawals and $1,021 million in EAPs).

6.3 Rate of Withdrawal for Beneficiaries Age 17 and Over, by Year and Age

The RESP withdrawal rate by age is obtained by dividing the number of beneficiaries who have withdrawn money in a year by the total number of beneficiaries of that age in that year.

In , the cohort with the highest withdrawal rate was of age 19. This age group has had the highest rate of withdrawal each year since .

RESP Withdrawal Rate by Year and Age
Age
(%)

(%)

(%)

(%)

(%)

(%)
17 3.9 3.9 4.1 4.0 3.9 4.1%
18 41.8 41.3 43.8 41.7 43.0 44.9%
19 47.7 46.1 49.1 45.2 46.3 47.1%
20 40.8 40.1 41.8 38.4 39.1 40.1%
21 33.3 33.1 34.9 31.5 32.4 33.3%
22 20.4 20.5 22.2 20.3 20.7 21.3%
23 10.9 10.6 11.9 10.9 11.2 11.6%
24 6.0 5.4 6.1 5.8 6.0 6.2%
25 3.0 3.0 3.2 3.0 3.2 3.3%
26 1.4 1.4 1.8 1.6 1.7 1.8%

7.0 Canada Education Savings Program Terms and Definitions

ADDITIONAL CANADA EDUCATION SAVINGS GRANT (Additional CESG)
This is a payment over and above the Basic Canada Education Savings Grant. This is extra money offered by the Government of Canada to further encourage low-income families to save for a child’s post-secondary education. This grant is paid directly into a child’s RESP by Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC).
BENEFICIARY
An RESP beneficiary is usually a child, but can be any person named by the subscriber of an RESP to receive money for education after high school in the form of Educational Assistance Payments. Payments to a beneficiary are made according to the specific terms of the RESP.
CANADA EDUCATION SAVINGS GRANT (CESG)
This is a grant offered by the Government of Canada to encourage parents, family and friends to save for a child’s post-secondary education. A CESG is paid by ESDC directly into an RESP in which the child is named as the beneficiary.
CANADA EDUCATION SAVINGS PROGRAM (CESP)
This is a program within ESDC that administers the Canada Education Savings Grant and the Canada Learning Bond to encourage early savings into Registered Education Savings Plans for a child’s post-secondary education.
CANADA LEARNING BOND (CLB)
This is a grant offered by the Government of Canada to help low-income families start saving for their child’s post-secondary education. The CLB is paid by ESDC directly into the RESP of a child who is a named beneficiary and whose parent or guardian is eligible to receive the National Child Benefit Supplement.
EDUCATIONAL ASSISTANCE PAYMENTS (EAPs)
EAPs are amounts paid from a Registered Education Savings Plan to an eligible beneficiary to assist with education-related expenses at the post-secondary level. As such, EAPs include the Canada Education Savings Grant, the Canada Learning Bond, and the income earned on the money saved in the RESP.
EMPLOYMENT AND SOCIAL DEVELOPMENT CANADA (ESDC)
ESDC is a department of the Government of Canada whose mission is to build a stronger and more competitive Canada, to support Canadians in making choices that help them live productive and rewarding lives, and to improve Canadians’ quality of life.
POST-SECONDARY EDUCATION (PSE)
This refers to qualifying educational programs in designated institutions (e.g. CEGEPs, colleges, universities or others) in Canada or abroad.
POST-SECONDARY EDUCATION WITHDRAWAL
This is a withdrawal of contributions made by the subscriber to an RESP when a beneficiary is enrolled in post-secondary education.
REGISTERED EDUCATION SAVINGS PLAN (RESP)
An RESP is an education savings account that can help Canadians save for post-secondary education. RESPs are registered by the Government of Canada to allow savings for education to grow tax-free until the person named in the RESP enrolls in post-secondary education.
RESP PROVIDERS
Providers are financial organizations such as banks or credit unions, certified financial planners or group plan dealers that provide Registered Education Savings Plans to Canadians. They administer all amounts paid into the plan and ensure the payments from the RESP are made according to the terms of the plan and the laws that govern it.
RESP PROVIDER TYPE
RESP provider type refers to the classification system that the Canada Education Savings Program uses to categorize the financial organizations based on their primary business structure. In , the methodology was updated and, as a result, the number of provider types has been reduced from five to four. These are defined below:

Banking Services: This industry group consists of companies that work in the banking, consumer lending and corporate financial services industry. The companies are deposit-taking institutions that are involved in commercial banking, retail and mortgage banking, and private banking activities.

Investment Services: This industry group consists of companies that conduct investment banking, brokerage service, investment management and fund operation, wealth management, private equity, security and commodity exchanges and diversified investment services, which combine investment banking/security brokerage services with investment management/fund operating operations.

Group Plan Promoters: Group plan promoters offer group plan RESPs, which are a collection of individual contracts administered for a group of beneficiaries born in the same year.

Insurance and Other: This industry group includes those companies that operate in the property and casualty insurance, life and health insurance and reinsurance industries. This provider type also includes establishments that cannot be grouped under any other types of the classification system.
RESP WITHDRAWALS
These are made from a Registered Education Savings Plan to pay for post-secondary education. They include both Educational Assistance Payments and Post-Secondary Education Withdrawals.
SUBSCRIBER
A subscriber is an individual who opens a Registered Education Savings Plan to make contributions to an RESP on behalf of an individual named as a beneficiary. A subscriber can be a parent, grandparent, aunt, uncle, sibling or friend of the beneficiary.
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