Understanding RESPs in Quebec | Kaleido Blog Article
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Understanding RESPs in Quebec

Kaleido's Blog

Written by: Kaleido

November 20, 2020

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Becoming a parent is one of the most rewarding things in life. Helping our children at every stage of their development and growth, from their first steps to the day they go off to school, is a privilege.

This support extends to another defining period in their lives: post-secondary education. The registered education savings plan (RESP) was created to prepare for this crucial step.

Designed to help tomorrow’s adults reach their full potential, the RESP offers many opportunities for subscribers and beneficiaries in Quebec.

Interested in learning more about RESPs and the grants available in Quebec? Kaleido can help you with that.

RESP Basics

As you may already know, a registered education savings plan is a great way to help your child pay for their post-secondary studies. When you contribute to an RESP, you can receive government grants that will directly benefit your child.

In short, an RESP is another opportunity to support your child’s personal and professional development. After that, their future is in their hands!

Who can open an RESP?

Anyone can open an RESP for one or more children. In Quebec, any parent, family member or friend who wants to invest in a young person’s future can contribute to this kind of plan.

How do I open an RESP?

You can open a registered education savings plan with an RESP provider. They specialize in education savings plans for families and can recommend an RESP that is suitable for your situation and needs. RESPs are for everyone! Some low-income families may even qualify for one at no cost.

Post-secondary enrollment

With Kaleido, when a beneficiary enrolls in a qualifying post-secondary program,1 all the contributions are returned to the subscriber,2 who can then decide whether to give them to the student. The beneficiary receives the accumulated income and grants in the form of educational assistance payments (EAPs).

How do RESPs work in Quebec?

In 2007, the Quebec government introduced the Québec Education Savings Incentive (QESI) to encourage families to save for their children’s education. This credit, administered by Revenu Québec, is in addition to federal grants to help pay for the cost of your children's education.

Note that not all RESP providers take the step of applying for the provincial grant. Fortunately, Kaleido ensures that the QESI is paid into all its registered education savings plans!3

What grants are available in Quebec?

When you open an RESP in Quebec, you can receive the following financial support for your child:

  • CESG (Canada Education Savings Grant): 20% of contributions, up to a maximum of $500 each year
  • QESI (QuĂ©bec Education Savings Incentive): 10% of contributions, up to a maximum of $250 each year 
  • CLB (Canada Learning Bond): For low-income families, up to $2,000 for the beneficiary without having to contribute.

Depending on their adjusted net income, some families may also qualify for additional CESG payments, which increase your contributions by 10% to 20%, and the additional QESI amount, which is equivalent to between 5% and 10% of your savings.

What’s the limit for RESP grants in Quebec?

In Quebec, you can accumulate up to $12,800 per RESP beneficiary.4 This amount is calculated based on the lifetime limit of each grant. The Government of Canada contributes up to $7,200 with the CESG and up to $2,000 with the CLB. The Quebec government provides up to $3,600 with the QESI.

The EAP amount that accumulates in your RESP will vary depending on how much you contribute, how long you save for and what your family income is.

Opening an RESP in Quebec has many advantages

In Canada, RESPs have become an increasingly popular way to help pay for a child's post-secondary education. Did you know that in 2018, nearly 450,000 students benefited from an RESP to further their education?

In 2019, just over 50% of Quebec families contributed to an RESP for their children’s post-secondary studies. Accessible and flexible, education savings plans offer parents and future students a wealth of advantages. Learn more about the different types of RESPs and their benefits.

Different plans for different families

In Quebec, there are several RESP options to choose from:

  • Family plan: A family RESP allows you to name all your children as beneficiaries. You can also transfer funds from one child to another.
  • Group plan: In a group RESP, subscribers’ savings are pooled during the contribution period, after which each subscriber takes back their contributions and their share of the earnings.
  • Individual plan: Only one beneficiary is named in this type of plan, which offers significant flexibility for contributions. The subscriber can deposit and withdraw funds as needed.

Whichever type of plan you choose, your representative will provide reassuring support every step of the way as you grow your savings over time.

RESPs in Quebec: A flexible program

An RESP should be a simple and stress-free way to save. That's why these different plans also adapt to your needs and circumstances. If you experience financial difficulties along the way or want to change plans, you can always discuss it with our team.

The RESP isn’t one-size-fits-all. With Kaleido, you choose:

  • The amount you contribute
  • Your contribution schedule (monthly, yearly, one-time)
  • Your contribution period (2 years, 5 years, 10 years or more).

We’re here for you and can tailor your plan to your needs throughout your entire time as a plan subscriber. And if your child decides not to pursue their studies, don’t panic! You will get your contributions back, subject to investment risk.5 

Making it easier for young people to pursue their studies

RESPs play an important role in access to post-secondary education. According to the 2019 Kaleido barometer, 70% of young people said that RESPs played a key role in encouraging them to pursue their studies.

When you open an RESP, you’re investing in your child’s future by giving them the option and the financial security to pursue their education as they see fit.


This simple tool will help you calculate how much your child’s postsecondary education could cost.

few secondes!

Thinking about opening an RESP and want personalized advice?

Meet with one of our representatives to establish the best all-in-one plan for your family.

Legal Notes

1. Some conditions apply. For the complete list of qualifying post-secondary programs, please see our prospectus.

2. Subject to investment risk and applicable fees. See our prospectus.

3. Subject to obtaining the necessary authorization to apply for grants. Some conditions apply. See our prospectus.

4. Canada Education Savings Grant (CESG) of 20% to 40% and Québec education savings incentive (QESI) of 10% to 20%. Based on adjusted family net income. The annual limit is $600 for the CESG and $300 for the QESI. The lifetime limit per beneficiary is $7,200 for the CESG and $3,600 for the QESI. Canada Learning Bond (CLB) of up to $2,000 per beneficiary, for children born to financially eligible families after December 31, 2003. Some conditions apply. See our prospectus.

5. Savings invested in treasury bills, government bonds, and high-quality companies. Some conditions apply. See our prospectus.