What happens to my RESP if my child doesn’t go to school right away or at all?

Given the climbing tuition costs and student loan debt, many families are looking to Registered Education Savings Plans (RESPs) to help save for their child’s post-secondary education. But what if your child doesn’t want to attend post-secondary immediately after high school?

No sweat, your RESP is safe for up to 35 years, meaning your child doesn’t need to hop into post-secondary right after high school. When the time comes, the beneficiary just needs to provide Proof of Enrollment (POE) as a full-time or part-time student in a post-secondary program or institution.

For a list of qualifying educational programs, check out the Government of Canada requirements.

What if my child doesn’t choose to attend a post-secondary institute at all?

If the beneficiary decides not to pursue post-secondary education, the RESP contributions are returned tax-free to the subscriber and the bonus grant money is refunded to the government. However, you’ll have to pay tax on the amount that grew over time since opening the RESP.

If you hold a family RESP, the funds can be transferred to another beneficiary in your plan.

Basically, there’s no downside to opening an RESP! So, regardless of when or if your child decides to go to school, opening an RESP is a smart move when planning for their future.

I'm ready to start an RESP. Book an appointmentStart your RESP today by contacting an Affinity Wealth Management Specialist at 1.866.272.2521. You can also open an RESP online through our partners, Qtrade Direct Investing or Qtrade Guided Portfolios or book an appointment!