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Building Education Opportunities in Canadian Child Welfare Services is a resource designed to allow social workers, parents and young people access to post secondary education financial planning information. Every child from every walk of life deserves the choice to learn.


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Top 10 Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

1. Can a minor be a subscriber?
There are no minimum age requirements under the Income Tax Act concerning the age of the
subscriber; however there may be contract laws concerning this issue.

2. Can a spouse and former spouse be a joint subscriber under an RESP?
Yes. An ESP is an arrangement between an individual, or an individual and their spouse, and a

3. Can the subscriber be changed under an RESP?
Yes. A spouse/former spouse can replace the original subscriber in the event of marriage breakdown.
It is also possible to change the subscriber after the death of the original subscriber for contracts that
permit and were entered into after 1997.

4. Does a subscriber need to be a resident of Canada?
No. The subscriber simply needs a social insurance number (SIN).

5. Can foster parents, godparents or family friends contribute to an RESP for a child?
Yes. Anyone who wants to contribute to a child’s education can contribute to an RESP; however
anyone wishing to establish an RESP for a beneficiary should contact the beneficiary’s custodial
parents, as the beneficiary’s SIN is required.

6. How many plans can be established for one beneficiary?
There are no limits, however the annual and lifetime contribution limits are per beneficiary.

7. I entered into an RESP family contract before 1998. One of the beneficiaries in my
plan is not directly related to me. Do I have to remove this beneficiary from the plan?

Non related beneficiaries in a family plan can be kept in the plan. You will be able to keep the
beneficiary in your plan and contribute to his/her education but your plan will not be entitled to any
CESG. Starting January 1, 1998 a public primary caregiver of a beneficiary can be a subscriber.

8. When does an RESP have to be terminated?
An RESP must be terminated on or before the last day of the 35th year following the year in which
the plan was entered into.

9. If the beneficiary does not go to post secondary education, what happens to the RESP?
The RESP can be transferred to a Registered Retired Savings Plan (RRSP) in the subscriber’s name.

10. What else can happen to the asset following termination of a plan?
The assets of an RESP can be used for
• Transfer to another RESP
• Payment to a designated educational institution
• Refund of contributions

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