Registered education savings plan

Anything is possible for your kids. But it’s up to you to get them there.
When you’re a kid, a piggy bank is the perfect way to save. But you’re a parent, and you need your money to do more. Give your children (and your investments) a head start with a Questrade RESP trading account. With a wealth of tools and government grants to boost your RESP, you can focus on what really matters: managing your children’s education portfolio.


What is an RESP?

A registered education savings plan (RESP) is a government-approved and tax-sheltered account for your child’s post-secondary education. A Questrade RESP lets you take a more pro-active approach to the investment, with full access to all our trading tools and services.

How an RESP trading account works

All it takes to start a RESP is $1000. You can then build your portfolio with regular contributions and an active investment strategy. The government allows for a lifetime maximum contribution of up to $50,000 per beneficiary (child); however there is no annual limit.

What you can trade in an RESP

Diversify your RESP and build a strong portfolio with stocks, options, ETFs, mutual funds, bonds and precious metals.

More kids? No problem.

Have (or planning on having) multiple beneficiaries? Perfect. Open a family RESP account for all your children or beneficiaries, and save by buying bigger share lots, rather than multiple lots in different accounts.

It’s your money. Keep it that way.

No fees to open and no annual fees if you have more than $15,000 across multiple accounts or you are part of a myFamily group and together the group has at least $15,000 in investments.

For more information, see the registered savings plans fees section on our administrative fees page.

Build your kids’ education fund (easily)

With an RESP, you can contribute regularly in a variety of ways: PACCs (pre-authorized cash contribution), automatic deposits, and free dividend re-investment plans (DRIPs) are some of the tools to keep your plan growing.

Are there any restrictions on what type of educational program the RESP can be used for?

The types of qualified educational programs are based on HRSDC (Human Resources and Skills Development Canada) guidelines. Beneficiaries can withdraw funds for any qualifying educational program at a designated post-secondary institution.

Need to withdraw some money from your RESP?

No problem. If you need to take money out of your RESP, the withdrawal will be made via capital withdrawal (funds that have been contributed, not grants or income). Grants will need to be paid back to the HRSDC unless it is to correct over-contribution OR if the beneficiary qualifies for EAP (Educational Assistance Program).

What happens if my child doesn’t continue to post-secondary education?

An RESP account can remain open until the end of the year in which the plan turns 35 so if you wish you could add another beneficiary to the account and use the RESP account to fund that beneficiary’s education. If this is not an option you can request an Accumulated income payment, however certain criteria will be required to be met in order for this to occur.

Want to close your account early?

If the account is closed early, whatever grants paid into the account must be returned to the government. The portion of the account that is made up of direct contributions of the account subscriber can be withdrawn by that subscriber. Any income in the account will be required to be withdrawn via an accumulated income payment. However, certain criteria will be required in order for this to occur.

Are there any government programs to help with my RESP?

The Canadian government offers two different programs to assist you in saving for your child’s post-secondary education. The first is the Canadian Education savings grant. There are two types; Basic CESG and Additional CESG:

  • Basic CESG is a grant of 20% of contributions made to a beneficiary until the year they turn 17. There are limits to the grant (annual) and carry forward amounts.
  • Additional CESG is an additional grant from the government to help save for your child’s education. This grant is based on the net family income of the child’s primary care giver (individual who receives the Canada Child Tax Benefit )

The other program is the Canada Learning Bond. No contributions are required to qualify, but there are three requirements:

  • The child must be born after December 31, 2003
  • They must also have a valid social insurance number (SIN)
  • The child’s individual primary caregiver must receive the National Child Benefit Supplement (NCBS) for at least month of the benefit year OR receive payments under the Children’s Special Allowances Act for at least one month of the benefit year.
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