60,000 Toronto families offered assistance to build their children's RESP accounts

More than $60 million is waiting for children eligible for the Canada Learning Bond

TORONTO, Nov. 3, 2011 /CNW/ - SmartSAVER announced today that 60,023 families in the city of Toronto will receive vouchers this week informing them of their children's entitlement to Government funds to help pay for their post-secondary education. The funds come through the Canada Learning Bond.

The Canada Learning Bond is a contribution of up to $2,000 by the Government of Canada into a Registered Education Savings Plan for lower-income children. It requires no contribution by the family. Any child born in 2004 or later whose family receives the National Child Benefit Supplement (has a net income of $41,544 or less) is eligible to receive the Canada Learning Bond.

The vouchers will notify families of the amount that the Government of Canada will deposit into qualifying children's RESP accounts. Families can open an RESP account with any provider they choose.

"The Canada Learning Bond is a unique opportunity for families who need it the most," stated Martin Connell, Chairman and President of the Omega Foundation, which created and leads the SmartSAVER program. "It is a key stepping stone to improving children's educational pursuit and our community's future prosperity."

"Every family with children should have an RESP account, but it's even more important for families who receive these vouchers to get started right away," said Jennifer Tory, RBC Royal Bank's Regional President for Greater Toronto. "You don't need to be able to contribute any of your own money, but you do need to open an RESP account for the Government to deposit your children's Canada Learning Bond funds into, or you're essentially leaving free money on the table."

SmartSAVER will support families' RESP participation through a series of special sign-up events across the city. Schools and community organizations across Toronto will promote voucher use and families will be able to access more information in 16 different languages through a telephone information line (416) 479-8957 and through www.smartsaver.org/voucher.

About SmartSAVER

SmartSAVER is a project of the Omega Foundation, funded in part by the Government of Canada's Education Savings Community Outreach program and delivered in collaboration with corporate and charitable partners. SmartSAVER makes it easier for Toronto families with modest incomes to access the Canada Learning Bond and Registered Education Savings Plans (RESP) for their children's education.

About the Royal Bank of Canada

Royal Bank of Canada (RY on TSX and NYSE) and its subsidiaries operate under the master brand name RBC. We are Canada's largest bank as measured by assets and market capitalization, and among the largest banks in the world, based on market capitalization. We are one of North America's leading diversified financial services companies, and provide personal and commercial banking, wealth management services, insurance, corporate and investment banking and transaction processing services on a global basis. We employ approximately 74,000 full- and part-time employees who serve close to 15 million personal, business, public sector and institutional clients through offices in Canada, the U.S. and 55 other countries. For more information, please visit rbc.com.


For further information:

May Wong, Executive Director, Omega Foundation (416) 966-1418 or mwong@theomegafoundation.ca


Mark Hamill, Director Communications, Greater Toronto, RBC Royal Bank (416) 974-3900 or mark.hamill@rbc.com

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