Minister Bergen Highlights Government Initiatives to Help Families Save for their Futures

VANCOUVER, June 5, 2015 /CNW/ - The Honourable Candice Bergen, Minister of State for Social Development, spoke today at the Canadian Institute of Financial Planners' annual conference where she encouraged financial planners to help families achieve financial stability and security through Government of Canada savings plans such as the Registered Disability Savings Plan (RDSP), the Registered Education Savings Plan (RESP) and the Tax Free Savings Account (TFSA).

Minister Bergen emphasized the benefits of the RDSP which helps Canadians with disabilities and their families save for the future. She stressed the important role financial planners can play in informing Canadians of additional support through the Canada Disability Savings Grant and the Canada Disabilities Savings Bond. She also spoke about the importance of RESPs for families with children and emphasized the benefits of TFSAs for Canadians from all walks of life.  

Finally, she talked about the new Family Tax Cuts and Benefits package, which includes an expanded Universal Child Care Benefit (UCCB). Under the proposed enhancements, families will receive almost $2,000 per year for each child under 6 and $720 per year for each child aged 6 through 17. Minister Bergen also highlighted that there are 12,800 families in Vancouver who are eligible to receive this money, but are at risk of not receiving the benefit unless they apply.

Quick Facts

  • As of April 2015, Canadians had registered a total of 104,310 RDSPs, 19,572 of which were registered in British Columbia.   
  • Canadians have benefitted from more than $1 billion in bonds and grants paid into these RDSPs by the Government of Canada.
  • More than 356,000 students in Canada used RESP funds to help pay for their post-secondary education in 2013 and more than 604,000 children have benefitted from almost $500 million in the Canada Learning Bond since the Bond's inception in 2005.
  • Over the course of a full year, parents would receive $1,920 for each child under the age of 6 and $720 for each child aged 6 through 17 through the Universal Child Care Benefit.
  • Families with children under 18 who are not currently receiving the UCCB, have never received the UCCB, or have never applied for the Canada Child Tax Benefit can find more information about how to apply at www.canada.ca/taxsavings
  • The Children's Fitness Tax Credit has doubled to $1,000 per child.

Quotes

"Under the strong leadership of Prime Minister Stephen Harper, our Government introduced the Registered Disability Savings Plan in Budget 2007, the first plan of its kind in the world.  Together with other savings vehicles, such as the Registered Education Savings Plan, we are ensuring that families have support to save for their future.  We welcome the opportunity to work with financial planners to ensure that Canadians are aware of, and using, these important programs."
– The Honourable Candice Bergen, Minister of State for Social Development

Associated Links

Registered Disability Savings Plan 
Saving for your Child's Education 
www.canada.ca/taxsavings 
Backgrounder on new measures: Helping Families Prosper 
BC Training and Education Savings Grant

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Backgrounder


Registered Disability Savings Plans, Grants and Bonds

The Registered Disability Savings Plan (RDSP) is a long-term savings plan to help Canadians with disabilities and their families save for the future.

If you have an RDSP, you may also be eligible for grants and bonds to help with your long-term savings.

The Canada Disability Savings Grant is a matching grant the Government will deposit into your RDSP to help you save. The Government provides matching grants of up to 300 percent, depending on the amount contributed and the beneficiary's family income. The maximum grant is $3,500 each year, with a limit of $70,000 over your lifetime. Grants are paid on contributions made to the RDSP until the end of the calendar year in which you turn 49 years of age.

The Canada Disability Savings Bond is money the Government will deposit into the RDSPs of modest-income Canadians. If you qualify for the Bond, you will receive up to $1,000 a year depending on your family income. There is a limit of $20,000 over your lifetime. Bonds are paid into the RDSP until the end of the calendar year in which you turn 49 years of age. You do not need to make any contributions to your RDSP to receive the Bond.

Registered Education Savings Plans, Grants and Bonds

The Registered Education Savings Plan (RESP) is a tax-sheltered education savings account that can be used to help save for a child's education after high school.

Families can receive the Canada Education Savings Grant when opening an RESP. The federal government adds between 20 percent and 40 percent of contributions to a child's RESP, depending on family income. The amount could be up to $600 per year, to a lifetime maximum of $7,200 per child.

The Canada Learning Bond was introduced in 2004 to help modest-income families save for their children's education. It is an initial payment of $500, followed by an additional $100 every year that the child remains eligible, up to a maximum of $2,000. To receive the Canada Learning Bond, a child must have been born in 2004 or later. The primary caregiver must also receive the National Child Benefit Supplement under the Canada Child Tax Benefit (sometimes known as the "family allowance" or "baby bonus").

B.C. Training and Education Savings Grant

The government of British Columbia (B.C.) will contribute to children's post-secondary education or a training program through the BC Training and Education Savings Grant (BCTES Grant). The BCTES Grant is a one-time grant of $1,200 that will be deposited into a Registered Education Savings Plan (RESP) of an eligible beneficiary. No matching savings contributions by the RESP subscriber will be required.

Families can apply for the BCTES Grant at participating financial institutions after August 15, 2015. Once approved, the grant money will be deposited directly into the child's RESP.

To be eligible for the BCTES Grant, a child must meet the following three criteria:

  1. The child was born in 2007 or later;
  2. At the time of application the child and a parent/guardian of the child are residents of British Columbia;
  3. At the time of application the child is the beneficiary of a Registered Education Savings Plan (RESP) with a participating financial institution.

 

SOURCE Employment and Social Development Canada

For further information: Austin Jean, Press Secretary, Office of the Minister of State for Social Development, 819-953-2350; Media Relations Office, Employment and Social Development Canada, 819-994-5559, media@hrsdc-rhdcc.gc.ca


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