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Registered Education Savings Plan (RESP)



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What is an RESP?

A Registered Education Savings Plan (RESP) is one of the best ways to save for a child’s education. The earlier you open one, the more time your money has to grow to cover education costs later!

It’s great for: Those who want to invest in a child’s education.

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Benefits of an RESP

Tax-sheltered earnings

Your earnings are all tax-sheltered – and when withdrawn the earnings are taxed to the child – who may pay little to no taxes on them as students.

Not just for tuition

The money can be used towards more than just tuition costs – including books, living expenses, other course materials and more.

Potential for grants

The federal government may add up to a maximum of $500/year with the Canada Education Savings Grant (CESG ), up to a lifetime maximum of $7200.

Numbers you need to know

  • $60,000
    cost of a 4-year university degree
  • $100,000
    Estimated cost of a 4-year degree by 2021
  • 31
    Number of years contributions may be made after plan is set up

Individual and family plans

A father and his young son laugh together in their living room with their foreheads touching.
You can open an RESP for an individual child, or choose a flexible family plan that lets you save for all your children at the same time. Plans can be set up for an individual that doesn’t have to be related to you – there are no age limits so you can even set up an RESP for yourself or another adult.
A father and his young son laugh together in their living room with their foreheads touching.
With a family plan, you can name one or more children as beneficiaries. The children must be related to you (by blood or adoption), and you can change beneficiaries at any time.
  • Individual plans
    A father and his young son laugh together in their living room with their foreheads touching.
    You can open an RESP for an individual child, or choose a flexible family plan that lets you save for all your children at the same time. Plans can be set up for an individual that doesn’t have to be related to you – there are no age limits so you can even set up an RESP for yourself or another adult.
  • Family plans
    A father and his young son laugh together in their living room with their foreheads touching.
    With a family plan, you can name one or more children as beneficiaries. The children must be related to you (by blood or adoption), and you can change beneficiaries at any time.

Top questions about RESPs

Want to learn more about RESPs?

What’s an RESP beneficiary and subscriber?

The beneficiary is the person who the RESP is set up for, and the subscriber is the person who first establishes the RESP and makes contributions to it.

What’s the age limit of an RESP beneficiary for adding contributions to their plan?

On a family plan, contributions can be made until the beneficiary turns 31. On an individual plan, contributions can be made up to the end of the 31st year of the plan’s existence, regardless of the beneficiary’s age.

Does the beneficiary have to be my child?

The beneficiary may be anyone in an Individual Plan and doesn’t have to be related at all to the subscriber. A subscriber could also be the beneficiary of their own plan.

Helpful tools and resources

Three elementary school students stand shoulder to shoulder, grinning in front of a chalkboard.Three elementary school students stand shoulder to shoulder, grinning in front of a chalkboard.

The golden rules of investing

Thinking about investing? These common-sense rules are a great place to start.
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  • BMO Mutual Funds are offered by BMO Investments Inc., ad financial services firm and a separate legal entity from Bank of Montreal. Commissions, trailing commissions, management fees and expenses may be associated with mutual fund investments. Please read the fund facts or prospectus before investing. The indicated rates of return are the historical annual compounded total returns for the period indicated including changes in unit value and reinvestment of all distributions and does not take into account sales, redemption, distribution or optional charges or income taxes payable by any unitholder that would have reduced returns. Mutual funds are not guaranteed, their values change frequently and past performance may not be repeated.
  • FundGrade A+® is used with permission from Fundata Canada Inc., all rights reserved. The annual FundGrade A+® Awards are presented by Fundata Canada Inc. to recognize the “best of the best” among Canadian investment funds. The FundGrade A+® calculation is supplemental to the monthly FundGrade ratings and is calculated at the end of each calendar year. The FundGrade rating system evaluates funds based on their risk-adjusted performance, measured by Sharpe Ratio, Sortino Ratio, and Information Ratio. The score for each ratio is calculated individually, covering all time periods from 2 to 10 years. The scores are then weighted equally in calculating a monthly FundGrade. The top 10% of funds earn an A Grade; the next 20% of funds earn a B Grade; the next 40% of funds earn a C Grade; the next 20% of funds receive a D Grade; and the lowest 10% of funds receive an E Grade. To be eligible, a fund must have received a FundGrade rating every month in the previous year. The FundGrade A+® uses a GPA-style calculation, where each monthly FundGrade from “A” to “E” receives a score from 4 to 0, respectively. A fund’s average score for the year determines its GPA. Any fund with a GPA of 3.5 or greater is awarded a FundGrade A+® Award. For more information, see www.FundGradeAwards.com. Although Fundata makes every effort to ensure the accuracy and reliability of the data contained herein, the accuracy is not guaranteed by Fundata. The FundGrade A+ Awards and the FundGrade Ratings being referenced are calculated based on comparisons of performance of investment funds within a specified category established by the CIFSC.
  • * BMO Target Education 2025 Portfolio (Series A), 6.97% (1 year),5.99% (3 years) and 5.84% since inception (November 13, 2014); BMO Target Education 2030 Portfolio (Series A), 8.68% (1 year), 6.95% (3 years) and 6.75% since inception (November 13, 2014); BMO Target Education 2035 Portfolio (Series A), 9.83% (1 year), 7.38 (3 years) and 7.05% since inception (November 13, 2014).