Province delivers a big blow to Alberta newborns in latest budget

TORONTO, March 27, 2015 /CNW/ - The 2015 Alberta budget will deprive parents who give birth after March 31st the head start on their child's education savings that other parents have benefited from for years. Meanwhile, other parents will be left scrambling to claim what's left of the Alberta Centennial Education Savings (ACES) Plan. 

That's $20 million/year that Alberta families will miss out on that would go to directly help fund their child's post-secondary education at a time when tuition rates continue to rise from $1,970 in 1990 to a staggering $5,730 in 2014/15 according to Statistics Canada.

As one of Canada's largest providers of Registered Education Savings Plans (RESPs), CST Consultants (CST) is extremely disappointed to hear the government has decided to close its doors on a program that was once touted by the same government as a "lasting legacy for Alberta's future generation of leaders, skilled workers and professionals."

"It feels like a bad April Fool's day joke for new parents.  We don't believe this government is making the right decision for parents by closing the ACES plan," said Peter Lewis, Vice President of Corporate and Regulatory Affairs at CST.  "With tuition fees rising faster than the rate of inflation Alberta families need all the help they can get.  While other provinces are adding programs to help families with these costs, Alberta is taking a big step backwards by eliminating the plan."

There is no question the program has been a success.  The number of children with a RESP has climbed by 158% since the program was started.

"CST Consultants had proposed several cost effective alternatives to the provincial government.  We recognize the financial constraints the government is facing but there are very real ways this government could have continued to assist families with this grant cost effectively.  It's really disheartening to see," added Lewis. 

Parents with children born before April 1st should open an RESP and submit a completed grant application by July 31st, 2015 which is the last day they can apply to receive the grant money. 

SOURCE CST Consultants

Image with caption: "CST Consultants (CNW Group/CST Consultants)". Image available at: http://photos.newswire.ca/images/download/20150327_C6692_PHOTO_EN_13650.jpg

For further information: Media contacts: Edyta McKay, Manager, Corporate Communications, 647.242.5433, Edyta.mckay@cst.org

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