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Registered Disability Savings Plan (RDSP)

Watch streaming video of Chris Gaulin

Chris Gaulin gave a brief overview of the Government of Canada’s new Registered Disability Savings Plan (RDSP). The plan is available to assist disabled people with retirement savings. It is the first of its kind in the world, and is available to any Canadian citizen under age 60 who is eligible for the federal disability tax credit.

Money is contributed to the plan in three ways: individual, including contributions by the plan holder, family, or friends; federal government grants, which will match contributions by up to 300% depending on the individual’s income and the size of the contribution; and federal government bonds, which are deposited in an individual’s account regardless of contribution. Depending on their income level, registered individuals might receive up to $1,000 in government bond contributions, even if no other money is contributed.

“It is important to educate yourself about the program’s conditions and benefits,” Gaulin said. Plan participants must file annual income tax returns and maintain their disability tax credit status, and there are penalties for withdrawing money prior to retirement. Some provinces have exempted RDSP savings and proceeds from disability pension and other social programs.

An RDSP is a good savings vehicle for students, as they tend to have lower incomes and can take full advantage of increased government funding.

RDSPs are currently available at BMO, CIBC, and RBC. Gaulin said participants should consult with these financial institutions or a financial advisor for specific fees and product details. Further information is available at Human Resources and Skills Development Canada and Plan RDSP.