How Much Money Does the Government Contribute to an RESP?

How Much Money Does the Government Contribute to an RESP?

When it comes to saving for your child’s education, the Registered Education Savings Plan (RESP) is a popular choice among Canadians. This is not just because of the tax-free earnings, but also because of the significant contribution made by the government towards this plan. Let’s delve into the details of how much money the government actually contributes to an RESP.

Understanding RESP

The Registered Education Savings Plan (RESP) is a unique savings account designed for Canadian parents who want to save for their children’s post-secondary education. With an RESP, parents, relatives, and friends can contribute towards a child’s future education. The contributions grow tax-free until the child enrols in a post-secondary institution.

RESP plays a crucial role in preparing for your child’s education expenses. The rising cost of education can pose a great financial burden, but with the help of RESP, you can alleviate some of this stress. Not only does it allow you to save money over time, but it also offers substantial support from the government.

Government’s Role in RESP

The Canadian government plays an integral part in the operation of RESPs. It provides two types of grants to boost the savings in these accounts: The Canada Education Savings Grant (CESG) and the Canada Learning Bond (CLB).

Both these grants are directly deposited into the RESP account, bolstering the total amount available for the child’s education. This contribution from the government is a key factor that sets RESPs apart from other savings plans.

Amount of Money Contribited by the Government

The exact amount of money contributed by the government to an RESP depends on several factors. Firstly, it depends on the amount of money you contribute to the RESP. The government matches 20% of your contributions up to a maximum of $500 per year through the CESG, with a lifetime limit of $7,200 per child.

Additionally, for families with low to middle income, the government offers an increased matching rate on the first $500 contributed annually. The enhanced rate can be either 10% or 20%, depending on the family income.

Canadian Education Savings Grant (CESG)

The CESG is a grant given by the government to supplement your RESP contributions. This means that for every dollar you put into an RESP, the government will contribute an additional 20 cents, up to a maximum of $500 per year.

The CESG is available until the end of the calendar year in which the child turns 17. However, to be eligible for the CESG, certain contribution and residency requirements must be met.

Canada Learning Bond (CLB)

The CLB is another form of government contribution to RESPs and is specifically aimed at low-income families. Eligible families can receive $500 in the first year of the child’s life and $100 each year after that, up to the age of 15. This can add up to a total of $2,000 per child. Interestingly, you don’t need to make any contributions to your child’s RESP to receive the CLB.

Factors Affecting Government Contribution to RESP

Several factors can influence the amount of government contribution to your RESP. These include:

  • Your annual contribution: The more you contribute (up to a certain limit), the more money you can get from the CESG.

  • Your net family income: Lower-income families may qualify for additional CESG amounts and the CLB.

  • The age of your child: Government contributions are only given until the year your child turns 17.

  • Meeting certain residency requirements: Your child must be a resident of Canada in order to receive government contributions.

All these factors collectively determine how much money you can expect from the government towards your RESP.


In conclusion, RESPs are a great way to save for your child’s education with the added benefit of substantial government contributions. The Canadian government, through the CESG and CLB, can significantly augment your savings and ease the financial burden of your child’s post-secondary education.

To maximize the benefits, it’s crucial to understand all the factors that can affect government contributions and plan your RESP strategy accordingly. Always remember, the earlier you start contributing to an RESP, the more time you have to let compound interest work its magic and multiply your savings.

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