Strategies for the RESP withdrawal phase

This side of RESPs receives less attention than the accumulation phase, but there is much to consider.

Gail Bebee 18 August, 2015 | 5:00PM
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Editor's note: This article is part of Morningstar's August 2015 Focus on Education Savings special report.

Financial advisors routinely sing the praises of contributing to a Registered Education Savings Plan, the government-sponsored program to encourage Canadians to save for their children's post-secondary education. And, no wonder! RESPs offer tax-deferred savings, and an annual RESP contribution attracts a Canada Education Savings Grant of up to $500 each year until a child turns 17. Subscribers in some provinces also receive provincial grants. Modest-income families may be eligible for additional government money.

The withdrawal side of RESPs receives less attention, even though there is much to consider. How much advanced planning is necessary in order to access RESP funds? What is the process for withdrawing the money? How much can be withdrawn each year? Which educational programs qualify for RESP payouts? What happens if my child does not pursue post-secondary education?

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About Author

Gail Bebee

Gail Bebee  Gail Bebee is an independent personal finance speaker, teacher and the author of No Hype--The Straight Goods on Investing Your Money. She can be reached at; her website is

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