Registered Education Savings Plans (RESPs) -> Canada Education Savings Grant (CESG)
Canada Education Savings Grant - How Much Will the Government Contribute?
The federal government will contribute a Canada Education Savings Grant (CESG) of 20% of contributions to the RESP by the subscriber, to an annual limit of $500 (grant room), and to a lifetime limit of $7,200. The annual limit was increased to $500 from $400 effective 2007, but the lifetime limit was not increased.
To be a recipient of the CESG, the RESP beneficiary must be:
Low and middle income families are eligible for an increased CESG percentage on the first $500 of contributions in a year to a child's RESP. This started in January 2005. The percentage is increased from 20% (CESG = $100 on first $500 of contributions) to
These income levels are indexed, and correspond to the federal tax brackets, which can be found on the Canadian federal tax rates page.
Starting January 1, 1998, even if no RESP had been started for a child, every child who is a Canadian citizen started to accumulate CESG available of
The grant will not be received by the child until RESP contributions are made. This means that if an RESP is started in 2021 when a child is 4 years old, CESG "grant room" available of $2,000 has already accumulated (4 years x $500) by the time the RESP is opened. If the subscriber contributes $5,000 to the RESP in 2021, then the government will contribute $1,000 (20% x $5,000). The actual maximum CESG contribution per year is the lesser of 20% of the RESP contribution, or
CESG will not be paid in any year after the beneficiary turns 17 years of age. CESG will be paid in the years in which the beneficiary turns 16 or 17 only if:
Can't Afford RESP Contributions?
Children of low and modest-income families will be eligible to receive Canada Learning Bond (CLB) grants of up to $2,000 with no RESP contributions being made.
A few provinces also provide funds to be contributed to an RESP.
Alberta Centennial Education Savings (ACES) Plan - now closed, no new applications being accepted
Saskatchewan Advantage Grant for Education Savings (SAGES) - suspended as of January 1, 2018
Canada Education Savings Grant Regulations s. 10(3)
Note that if the beneficiary of the RESP is a non-resident at the time of Educational Assistance Payments, then the CESG and Canada Learning Bond (CLB) portions of the RESP cannot be paid. A beneficiary can be a student at a foreign educational institution and still be considered a Canadian resident in some cases. See our information on Canadian residents.
Revised: September 28, 2021
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