Education savings providers commends election pledge to establish RESPs for children from low-income families

    TORONTO, Sept. 30 /CNW/ - Canadian Scholarship Trust Foundation (C.S.T.)
commends the Conservative Party for recognizing the importance of
post-secondary education by proposing, if reelected, to amend the Income Tax
Act to allow charitable organizations and band councils to open registered
education savings plans (RESPs) for children of low-income families that
otherwise would not have the ability to save. Currently, only individuals or
agencies responsible for children in care may open RESPs.
    By establishing an RESP under this program, beneficiaries would also be
able to access additional existing government support through the Canada
Learning Bond (CLB), which provides up to $2,000 for the post-secondary
education of children in lower-income families. Canadian children born
January 1, 2004 or later who are eligible for the National Child Benefit
Supplement (NCBS) are eligible for the CLB (this generally applies to families
with a total annual income under $37,885).
    Any RESP contributions beyond the CLB qualify for the Canada Education
Savings Grant (CESG), which adds 20 per cent of all contributions made to a
maximum grant of $500 per year per child. Low-income families that receive the
CLB are also eligible for an additional 20 per cent CESG on the first $500
contributed each year.
    "Allowing charitable organizations and band councils to lay the
foundation for a child's post-secondary education is a tremendous step forward
in helping break the poverty cycle by helping children reach their full
learning potential," says Peter Lewis, Vice President, Canadian Scholarship
Trust Foundation. "Our experience indicates that saving for a child's
education, regardless of the amount, increases the probability of that child
going on to higher education."
    According to Statistics Canada, young Canadians who have savings put
aside for their post-secondary education either by themselves, their parents
or others are more likely to take some post-secondary education (74 per cent
compared with 50 per cent).
    An RESP is an education savings plan registered under the Federal Income
Tax Act that helps families save for post-secondary education. Income earned
on contributions grows tax-free until a child is ready to attend college,
university or trade school.

    Peter Lewis is available to discuss the potential impact that
Conservative Government's proposal may have on supporting the attainment of
higher education. He can also discuss how the currently available government
incentives effectively motivate families to save for education.

    The Canadian Scholarship Trust Foundation, established in 1960, is the
oldest and largest provider of Group RESPs in Canada. Its mission is to
advocate, develop, deliver and support solutions that will enable every
Canadian resident to have sufficient financial resources to pursue
post-secondary education.

For further information:

For further information: To arrange an interview, please contact:
Tonique Harry, Dane Gergovich, (416) 504-8464,,

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