Best RESP Providers in Canada

PiggyBank Staff | August 8, 2023
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RESP (Registered Education Savings Plan) is a popular savings vehicle in Canada that offers numerous benefits for saving towards a child’s education. Canadian Personal Finance Expert, who specializes in financial matters, highlights the advantages of RESP and provides expert advice on investing in this plan.

The benefits of RESP include tax advantages, government grants, and flexible contributions. Understanding the different types of RESP, such as Individual RESP, Family RESP, and Group RESP, is crucial in making an informed decision. Choosing the best RESP provider involves considering factors such as reputation, fees, investment options, and customer service.

Expert advice on RESP investment strategies includes starting early, asset allocation, and regular review of investments. Common mistakes to avoid when dealing with RESP are overcontributing, underutilizing government grants, and failing to rebalance investments. With the guidance of a Canadian Personal Finance Expert, parents can make sound financial decisions to secure their child’s educational future.

Benefits of RESP

Discover the incredible perks waiting for you with an RESP! From tax advantages to generous government grants, and the flexibility to contribute as you please, this section unfolds the numerous benefits that come along with a Registered Education Savings Plan. Delve into the details and find out how you can make the most of this remarkable savings opportunity for your child’s future education. Get ready to unlock a world of possibilities with an RESP!

Tax Advantages

  • Tax-free Growth: The investment growth within a Registered Education Savings Plan (RESP) is tax-free. Income generated by the investments, such as dividends or capital gains, is not subject to tax while it remains within the RESP.
  • Tax-Deferred Contributions: Contributions to an RESP are made with after-tax dollars. The contributions grow tax-deferred and are not taxed until withdrawn from the RESP.
  • Tax-Free Education Assistance Payments: When the beneficiary enrolls in post-secondary education, they can receive Education Assistance Payments (EAPs) to cover their expenses. These payments consist of the investment growth and grants received in the RESP. EAPs are typically taxed in the hands of the student, resulting in minimal or no tax payable.

When choosing an RESP, it is important to consider the tax advantages to maximize benefits for yourself and your child’s education. Understand the specific tax rules associated with RESPs in your country or province. Consult with a financial advisor for expert guidance tailored to your individual tax situation and investment goals. Regularly review your RESP to ensure it aligns with your long-term educational plans and financial objectives.

Government Grants

Government grants are an essential benefit of investing in a Registered Education Savings Plan (RESP) in Canada. These government grants help parents and guardians save for their child’s post-secondary education. Here are some key points regarding government grants for RESPs:

Canada Education Savings Grant (CESG): This is the main government grant for RESPs. It provides a matching contribution of 20% on the first $2,500 in annual contributions to an RESP, up to a maximum of $500 per year. This grant is available until the child turns 17.

Additional CESG: Lower-income families may qualify for additional CESG, which offers an extra 10% or 20% on the first $500 in annual contributions, depending on the family’s income level.

Canada Learning Bond (CLB): The CLB is a grant designed for families with modest incomes. It provides an initial $500 for opening an RESP and an additional $100 per year until the child reaches 15, with a maximum amount of $2,000.

Pro-tip: To maximize government grants, it is advisable to contribute the maximum eligible amount each year, take advantage of the CESG and CLB, and start saving early for longer investment growth.

By understanding and taking advantage of the available government grants, families can significantly boost their savings for their child’s future education expenses.

Flexible Contributions

When it comes to RESPs, flexible contributions are a key feature. Parents and guardians have the freedom to contribute as much or as little as they can afford at any given time. Contributions can be made regularly or sporadically, depending on financial situation. Contributors can adjust their contributions based on changes in their income or expenses.

Flexibility in contributions allows individuals to take advantage of potential investment opportunities while accommodating financial obligations. It provides the freedom to save for a child’s education according to their own budget and timeline.

Fact: Approximately 80% of Canadian families with Registered Education Savings Plans (RESPs) report making regular contributions. It is a popular choice for planning for their children’s future education.

Understanding the Different Types of RESP

Explore the world of Registered Education Savings Plans (RESPs) and discover the various types available. From Individual RESP to Family RESP and even Group RESP, this section unveils the unique features and benefits of each type. Prepare to dive into the realm of education savings and learn how these different RESP options can help you secure a brighter future for your loved ones. Get ready to make informed decisions and maximize your savings potential with the right RESP choice.

Individual RESP


An Individual RESP is a type of Registered Education Savings Plan for one child. Parents or guardians can save for their child’s post-secondary education expenses. An Individual RESP offers flexible contributions, within a lifetime limit of $50,000 per child. Parents can adjust their contributions based on their financial situation.

An Individual RESP allows parents to take advantage of government grants. The Canada Education Savings Grant (CESG) provides an additional 20% on the first $2,500 contributed annually, up to a maximum of $500 per year. This grant money can significantly boost the overall savings for a child’s education.

An Individual RESP offers investment options to help grow savings over time. Parents can choose from investment vehicles such as mutual funds, stocks, or bonds. It’s important to review and adjust these investments periodically to align with savings goals.

Pro Tip: Start an Individual RESP early and make regular contributions to maximize potential growth. By doing so, funds will benefit from compound interest, helping build a substantial nest egg for your child’s future education expenses.

Family RESP

A Family RESP is a type of Registered Education Savings Plan that allows multiple children to be beneficiaries. It offers benefits for families saving for their children’s education.

1. Flexibility: Parents or guardians can contribute funds separately for each child. This means that contributions, investment earnings, and government grants can be allocated individually for each child’s education expenses.

2. Sharing of Grant and Income: In a Family RESP, unused grant money can be transferred to another sibling. Similarly, income earned on one child’s portion can be transferred to another sibling’s RESP, maximizing overall savings.

3. Cost-effective: Having multiple beneficiaries in a single plan can result in lower fees and administrative costs compared to separate Individual RESPs for each child.

4. Estate Planning: In the event of the account holder’s death, a Family RESP allows for the transfer of the plan to another subscriber who can continue making contributions and accessing funds for the remaining beneficiaries.

It is important to consider your family’s specific needs and financial goals when deciding on a Family RESP. Consulting with a financial advisor can help you make an informed decision and create a savings strategy that aligns with your family’s educational aspirations.

Group RESP

allows families to pool their contributions for the benefit of all the children involved. Each family contributes a fixed amount regularly towards the RESP, which is then divided equally among all the children.

One advantage of a Group RESP is the potential for higher investment returns compared to individual RESPs due to the pooling of funds. Group RESPs also offer the convenience of joint decision-making, as families can collaborate on investment choices and other aspects of the plan.

Group RESPs are a popular choice for families seeking to secure their children’s post-secondary education, as they provide opportunities for shared costs and potentially higher returns on investment.

Choosing the Best RESP Provider in Canada

Choosing the best RESP provider in Canada is a crucial decision when it comes to securing your child’s education. In this section, we’ll dive into the factors that matter most. From reputation and trustworthiness to fees and charges, investment options, and customer service, we’ll explore the essential aspects to consider. By the end, you’ll be equipped with the knowledge to make an informed choice that aligns with your financial goals and gives your child the bright future they deserve.

Reputation and Trustworthiness

When selecting a RESP provider in Canada, it is essential to consider their reputation and trustworthiness. It is crucial to conduct research and evaluate the reputation of various RESP providers. Look for providers with positive reviews, testimonials, and a track record of fulfilling their financial obligations and commitments.

To assess the reputation and trustworthiness of a RESP provider, check if they are registered and regulated by relevant financial authorities in Canada. This ensures that they meet the necessary standards and adhere to strict regulations.

It is also important to consider the longevity of the provider in the industry. A provider with years of experience and a strong reputation is more likely to possess the expertise and stability needed.

Reputational factors can also be influenced by the provider’s customer service, transparency, and responsiveness. Evaluate their communication channels and how they promptly and professionally address customer concerns.

Choosing a RESP provider with a strong reputation and trustworthiness will provide peace of mind and ensure the safety of your child’s education savings.

Fact: According to a survey, 90% of RESP users prioritize reputation and trustworthiness when selecting a provider.

Fees and Charges

When choosing a RESP provider in Canada, understanding the fees and charges is crucial. You should carefully consider the financial implications of these fees before deciding.

1. Administration Fees: RESP providers may charge for account administration and management. Compare different providers to get the best deal.

2. Trading Fees: Some providers charge fees for buying and selling investments in your account. These fees can significantly impact returns if you actively manage investments.

3. Annual Maintenance Fees: Many providers charge an annual fee for account maintenance. The fees vary depending on the provider and the type of RESP.

4. Contribution Fees: Certain providers may charge a fee for each contribution made to your account. Understand the cost implications before choosing a provider.

5. Transfer Fees: If you transfer your RESP to a different provider, there may be associated fees. Consider these fees when evaluating options.

By considering the fees and charges of different RESP providers, you can make an informed decision that aligns with your financial goals and maximizes the growth potential of your RESP.

Investment Options

When considering investment options for your RESP, research and evaluate the available choices. Here are factors to consider:

1. Risk tolerance: Determine your willingness to take risks with investments. Higher-risk options like stocks offer potential for higher returns but come with increased volatility.

2. Growth potential: Look for investment options with potential for long-term growth. Consider stocks, mutual funds, or index funds for exposure to a diversified portfolio.

3. Cost: Consider fees associated with each investment option. Look for options with low management fees to protect your returns over time.

4. Time horizon: Consider when you will need education expense funds. Longer horizons allow for more risk and investment in growth-oriented options. Shorter timeframes favor conservative options like bonds or GICs.

5. Diversification: Spread investments across different asset classes to reduce risk. Invest in a mix of stocks, bonds, and other assets.

6. Professional advice: Consult a financial advisor specialized in RESPs. They can help you understand investment options and create a personalized strategy based on your goals and risk tolerance.

Remember, regularly review and adjust your investment options as your child’s education approaches to ensure you meet your financial goals.

Customer Service and Support

When selecting an RESP provider in Canada, it is crucial to take into consideration the quality of their customer service and support. Here are some essential factors to think about:

  1. Responsiveness: It is important to choose a good RESP provider that promptly answers queries and addresses any concerns you may have.

  2. Accessibility: Look for a provider that offers various channels for customer support, including phone, email, and live chat. This ensures easy access to assistance whenever you need it.

  3. Knowledgeable staff: The customer service team should be well-informed about RESP rules, investment options, and government grants. This will enable them to provide accurate and helpful information.

  4. Prompt documentation: Efficient customer support includes quickly processing paperwork, such as contribution receipts and withdrawal requests. This ensures smooth and timely transactions.

  5. Educational resources: A reputable RESP provider should provide educational materials to help investors understand the program and make well-informed decisions. This shows their commitment to supporting their customers’ financial goals.

  6. Account management: An effective customer support team will assist with tasks such as updating beneficiary information, changing contribution amounts, and monitoring investment performance. This helps you manage your RESP account efficiently.

  7. Issue resolution: The customer service team should have a fair and transparent process for resolving issues or disputes. This ensures that any problems are addressed and resolved in a satisfactory manner.

Considering these aspects will ensure that you have a positive experience managing your RESP account. Choose an RESP provider that prioritizes customer service and support to receive the assistance you need.

Expert Advice on RESP Investment Strategies

Looking to make the most of your RESP investment? Get ready for some expert advice on smart strategies that can help you secure a brighter future for your child’s education. We’ll be diving into key sub-sections, covering topics such as starting early and making regular contributions, optimizing asset allocation and diversification, and the importance of reviewing and adjusting investments. So, buckle up and get ready to discover the insider tips that can maximize your RESP returns!

Starting Early and Regular Contributions

Starting early and making regular contributions to your RESP is vital for maximizing savings and fully capitalizing on government grants. By starting early, you give your investments more time to grow and benefit from compound interest. Regular contributions ensure consistent savings building over time and prevent missing out on potential growth. Even small contributions can accumulate, so it is crucial to begin as soon as possible and contribute regularly.

For instance, if you start contributing $100 per month to your RESP from birth until your child reaches 18, the total contribution would be $21,600. This amount can significantly increase over the years due to government grants and investment growth. Starting early and contributing regularly also aids in managing the financial burden of saving for post-secondary education.

Starting early enables you to access the Canada Education Savings Grant (CESG) and the Canada Learning Bond (CLB), which can boost savings by up to 40%. It is important to periodically review and adjust contributions to align with your financial goals and changing education costs.

Asset Allocation and Diversification

Asset allocation and diversification play a crucial role in a successful RESP investment strategy. It is important to spread your investments across different asset classes, such as stocks, bonds, and mutual funds, in order to reduce risk and potentially increase returns. Diversification helps safeguard your savings from market fluctuations, as different asset classes perform differently under various conditions.

To achieve optimal diversification, it is essential to allocate your contributions across a wide range of investments. This can involve investing in different sectors, regions, and investment styles. For instance, you may choose to invest in a combination of Canadian and international stocks, government and corporate bonds, as well as growth and value funds. It is important to tailor your allocation to align with your risk tolerance and long-term goals.

Regularly reviewing and rebalancing your RESP portfolio is also vital. As the market value of your investments changes, the original allocation may shift. Rebalancing involves selling assets that have performed well and reinvesting in those that have performed poorly, in order to maintain your desired asset mix. This strategy ensures that your portfolio remains aligned with your risk profile and investment objectives over time.

A useful tip is to consult with a specialist financial advisor for your RESP investments. They can provide personalized advice, assist in determining your risk tolerance, and recommend an asset allocation and diversification strategy that is tailored to meet your needs.

Reviewing and Adjusting Investments

Reviewing and adjusting investments is crucial for maximizing returns. To achieve this, there are certain factors to consider. Regularly monitoring investment performance is essential to identify any underperforming assets or sectors. It is also important to diversify investments across stocks, bonds, and mutual funds in order to mitigate risk and enable growth in different market conditions. As your child’s education approaches, adjusting asset allocation towards more conservative options becomes necessary to protect capital. Staying updated with market trends, economic conditions, and investment news will help in making informed decisions. It is important to consider the tax implications when making changes to RESP investments. Seeking advice from a financial advisor or tax professional aligned with your financial goals is advisable. Remember, each individual situation is unique, so consulting a financial advisor is essential to optimize investments and ensure your child’s future education is secure.

Common Mistakes to Avoid with RESP

Avoiding some common mistakes can greatly enhance your experience with a Registered Education Savings Plan (RESP). In this section, we’ll explore key errors to steer clear of, such as going over the contribution limits, missing out on valuable government grants, and neglecting to rebalance your investments. By learning about and avoiding these missteps, you can ensure that your RESP journey is smooth and successful.

Overcontributing or Exceeding Contribution Limits

Overcontributing or exceeding contribution limits in a Registered Education Savings Plan (RESP) can have financial consequences and limit potential benefits. It is crucial to closely monitor contributions and seek professional advice if needed to avoid overcontributing or exceeding the contribution limits. Remember to track contributions accurately and be aware of the lifetime limit of $50,000.

By managing contributions responsibly, you can ensure that your RESP is utilized effectively and avoid any unnecessary penalties or tax implications. Each individual RESP has a lifetime contribution limit of $50,000, with no annual maximum. Going over this limit can result in penalties and tax implications.

Overcontributions may be subject to a 1% tax per month until the excess amount is withdrawn or used for educational purposes. It is essential to carefully track contributions to ensure they do not exceed the limit. Keeping a record of contributions can help avoid overcontributing. Consulting with a financial advisor or RESP provider can provide guidance on contribution limits and help create a contribution plan that maximizes benefits while staying within the limits.

Not Taking Full Advantage of Government Grants

Not taking full advantage of government grants can significantly impact your RESP investment’s growth. By not maximizing these grants, you could miss out on thousands of dollars for your child’s education. It’s crucial to be proactive and make the most of these grants to secure the best possible future for your child.

Government grants for RESP include the Canada Education Savings Grant (CESG) and the Canada Learning Bond (CLB). The CESG matches a percentage of your contributions, up to a maximum grant amount each year. If you don’t contribute the maximum amount to receive the full grant, you’re leaving free money behind. The CLB provides additional funds for your child’s education and is available to low-income families. By not applying for it, you’re missing out.

To avoid missing out on government grants, understand the grant programs and their eligibility requirements thoroughly. Ensure you contribute enough to receive the maximum grants each year. Set up automatic contributions to your RESP to seize all opportunities. Educate yourself on the grant application processes and deadlines to avoid delays or missed opportunities.

Remember, government grants are a valuable incentive for saving for your child’s education. By not taking full advantage of these grants, you limit your RESP’s potential growth and jeopardize your child’s future education opportunities. Seize every available grant to give your child the best educational foundation.

Failing to Rebalance Investments

Failing to rebalance investments in an RESP can have a negative impact on your savings. Neglecting to adjust funds in your portfolio can result in imbalanced risk exposure and hinder the achievement of your financial goals. It is crucial to regularly assess and reallocate investments in order to maintain a well-diversified and high-performing portfolio.

By failing to rebalance your RESP investments, you run the risk of becoming overexposed to certain asset classes. This scenario can occur if the value of one asset significantly increases while others remain stagnant. Neglecting rebalancing can lead to a heavily weighted portfolio in one area, making you more susceptible to market volatility.

To avoid this situation, it is important to regularly review and adjust your investments. Aim to rebalance your RESP portfolio on an annual basis, or when there are significant market changes or changes in your financial situation. By selling assets that have performed well and reinvesting in underperforming ones, you can ensure that your portfolio remains aligned with your long-term goals.

In order to avoid the mistake of failing to rebalance investments, it is crucial to be vigilant and take a proactive approach to managing your RESP. Regularly monitor and adjust your investments to maintain a well-diversified portfolio, reduce risk, and optimize returns. Recognizing the importance of rebalancing will enable you to make informed investment decisions and secure a brighter future for your child’s education.

2. Which RESP providers in Canada have low fees and diverse investment options?

Questwealth RESP and CI Direct Investing are two RESP providers with different fee structures. Questwealth offers low management fees starting at 0.25% and CI Direct Investing charges management fees ranging from 0.35% to 0.60%. Both providers offer diverse investment options.

3. What is the importance of government grants in RESPs?

Government grants, such as the Basic Canada Education Savings Grant (basic CESG), match parental contributions up to $2,500 per year. Additional grants and bonds are available to low-income families, making government grants an invaluable account type for saving for a child’s education.

4. How can I maximize my RESP contributions?

To maximize your RESP contributions, you should contribute at least $2,500 each year to qualify for the maximum annual government grant of $500. The lifetime contribution limit for RESPs is $50,000 per beneficiary.

5. What are the types of withdrawals available for RESPs?

There are two types of withdrawals from RESPs: Post-Secondary Education (PSE) payments, which are not taxable, and Educational Assistance Payments (EAP), which include investment income and have specific rules for withdrawal.

6. Which RESP providers in Canada offer flexible investment options and no minimum deposit requirement?

Wealthsimple RESP is a top robo-advisor in Canada with no minimum deposit requirement and offers flexible investment options. Justwealth RESP also offers flexible investment options and has no minimum deposit requirement.