By NOUMAN KHALIL
Ontario government is encouraging parents and guardians to save for their children’s post-secondary education with the help of the Canada Learning Bond and Registered Education Savings Plans (RESP).
Promoting education savings, Candice Bergen, Minister of State for Social Development, Thursday attended an event at India Rainbow Community Services in Mississauga along with Peel Children and Youth Initiative.
On the occasion, she spoke in detail and reminded parents as to why education savings are so important.
“Our government recognizes that access to post-secondary education is vital, not only for a young person’s future, but also for Canada’s long-term growth and prosperity,” said Bergen. “An RESP, supplemented with the Canada Learning Bond, helps modest-income families make post-secondary education a reality for their children.”
She said it’s an important information that every eligible family must know.
The Canada Learning Bond is $500 that the federal government deposits into a RESP. A child may then be eligible for another $100 per year, until he/she is 15 years old, up to a maximum of $2,000.
The Canada Learning Bond was introduced in 2004 to help modest-income families save for their children’s education. As of the end of 2012, almost half a million children have received the Canada Learning Bond, for a total of close to $400 million.
To receive the Canada Learning Bond, a child must have been born in 2004 or later. The primary caregiver must also receive the National Child Benefit Supplement under the Canada Child Tax Benefit, also known as the ‘family allowance’ or ‘baby bonus’.
Families can get the Canada Learning Bond by obtaining Social Insurance Number for the child; opening an RESP; and by applying for the Canada Learning Bond.
Under certain conditions, parents can also be eligible to receive the Canada Learning Bond without contributing any of their own money.
Families can also receive the Canada Education Savings Grant when opening a RESP. The federal government adds between 20 and 40 percent of contributions to a child’s RESP, depending on family income. The amount could be up to $600 per year, to a lifetime maximum of $7,200 per child.
If a child does not continue his or her education soon after high-school, the RESP can remain open for up to 36 years should the child later pursue post-secondary education.
If the RESP is closed:
* Contributions are returned to the subscriber;
* The Canada Learning Bond must be returned to the Government of Canada; and
* The Canada Education Savings Grant can be shared with a brother or sister if he or she has Grant room available — otherwise, the grant must be returned to the Government of Canada.
For information on how to apply for the Canada Learning Bond, and save for post-secondary education, visit CanLearn.ca or call 1-800-O-Canada (1-800-622-6232).
By NOUMAN KHALIL