Thinking about opening a Registered Education Savings Plan (RESP) for your child's education? Here's some points to consider as you look for the plan that's right for you and your family.

What is an RESP?

An RESP is an education savings plan that helps you and your family save for a child’s post secondary education and to start saving early.

There are different types of RESPs and each offer additional education savings incentives and government grants, such as the Canada Learning Bond, Canada Education Savings Grant and a provincial education savings incentive (where applicable).

Who offers RESPs?

RESPs are provided by financial institutions (banks or credit unions), certified financial planners and scholarship plan dealers.


  • It is important to choose an RESP promoter that best meets your needs
  • An RESP promoter can help you select the RESP that is right for you
  • The fee structure for an RESP may differ by promoter, so be clear on what and how you’re paying. It’s important to ask the right questions to get all the facts
  • Take the time to understand specific terms and conditions on the RESP. agreement and the education savings incentives your child qualifies for

Questions to Ask?

  • Can you access the Canada Learning Bond, the additional amount of Canada Education Savings Grant and provincial education savings incentives, on our behalf?
  • What types of RESPs do you offer (family, individual or group) and what are the advantages and risks of each?
  • What investment products do you offer? Can I change to another product while I have my RESP? Which product is the most secure?
  • Do I have to pay fees for:
    • opening an RESP?
    • withdrawing money from my RESP?
    • managing my RESP, services and commissions?
  • If so, how much is each fee and when do I pay it?
  • Do I need to make regular payments? What will happen if I can no longer make my regular payments?
  • Which post-secondary school programs are excluded from educational assistance payments (EAPs)?
  • What will happen if my child does not continue their education after high school?
  • If I close my RESP early, will I:
    • have to pay fees or penalties?
    • get back the money I contributed to the plan?
    • lose the interest earned in the RESP?
    • be able to transfer the money to another type of RESP or registered investment product?
    • Before signing the contract to open an RESP ask your RESP promoter to give you all the information in writing.
Read all the documents. Pay attention to the details (fees, penalties, commissions and educational assistance payments). If you don’t understand something, ask the RESP promoter to explain.  Take your time and compare the advantages and risks of the different types of RESPs (family, individual or group). You have the right to look over all the information before making a decision.

After Signing the Contract

Keep a copy of all the signed documents.

Ask your RESP promoter to help you complete the application form entitled: “APPLICATION: Basic and Additional Canada Education Savings Grant (CESG) and Canada Learning Bond (CLB)” as well as the appropriate annexes or additional forms for provincial education savings incentives.