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Canada Education Savings Grant (CESG)

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Registered Education Savings Plans (RESPs) -> Canada Education Savings Grant (CESG)

Canada Education Savings Grant - How Much Will the Government Contribute?

Canada Education Savings Act s.5

The federal government will contribute a Canada Education Savings Grant (CESG) of 20% of contributions to the RESP by the subscriber, to an annual limit of $500 (grant room), and to a lifetime limit of $7,200.  The annual limit was increased to $500 from $400 effective 2007, but the lifetime limit was not increased.

To be a recipient of the CESG, the RESP beneficiary must be a resident of Canada at the time the RESP contribution is made, and must have a valid social insurance number.

Low and middle income families are eligible for an increased CESG percentage on the first $500 of contributions in a year to a child's RESP.  This started in January 2005.  The percentage is increased from 20% (CESG = $100 on first $500 of contributions) to

bullet 40% for families with incomes up to $37,178 for 2007 (CESG = $200 on first $500 of contributions)
bullet 30% for families with incomes between $37,178 and $74,357 for 2007 (CESG = $150 on first $500 of contributions)

These income levels are indexed, and correspond to the federal tax brackets, which can be found on the Canadian federal tax rates page.

Starting January 1, 1998, even if no RESP had been started for a child, every child who is a Canadian citizen started to accumulate CESG available of

bullet $400 per year for the years 1998 to 2006, and
bullet $500 per year for years after 2006.

The grant will not be received by the child until RESP contributions are made.  This means that if an RESP is started  in 2007 when a child is 3 years old, CESG "grant room" available of $1,300 has accumulated (2 years x $400 plus 1 year x $500).  If the subscriber contributes $5,000 to the RESP in the 2007,  then the government will contribute $1,000 (20% x $5,000).  The actual maximum CESG contribution per year is the lesser of 20% of the RESP contribution, or

bullet $1,000 for years after 2006
bullet $800 for years before 2007.

CESG will not be paid in any year after the beneficiary turns 17 years of age.  CESG will be paid in the years in which the beneficiary turns 16 or 17 only if:

bullet a minimum of $2,000 in contributions has been made to, and not withdrawn from, RESPs for the beneficiary before the year in which the beneficiary turns 16 years of age, OR
bullet a minimum of $100 in contributions has been made to, and not withdrawn from, RESPs for the beneficiary in at least any 4 years before the year in which the beneficiary turns 16 years of age.

Some children will be eligible to receive Canada Learning Bond (CLB) grants.

Provincial RESP Grants

A few provinces also provide funds to be contributed to an RESP.

Alberta Centennial Education Savings (ACES) Plan - now closed, no new applications being accepted

British Columbia Training and Education Savings Grant (BCTESG)

Quebec Education Savings Incentive

Saskatchewan Advantage Grant for Education Savings (SAGES)

CESG and CLB Not Payable to Non-Resident Beneficiary

Canada Education Savings Grant Regulations s. 10(3)

Note that if the beneficiary of the RESP is a non-resident at the time of Educational Assistance Payments, then the CESG and Canada Learning Bond (CLB) portions of the RESP cannot be paid.  A beneficiary can be a student at a foreign educational institution and still be considered a Canadian resident in some cases.  See our information on Canadian residents.

Revised: October 12, 2017

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