What if my child decides not to pursue post-secondary education?

If your child doesn’t enroll in post-secondary studies, you have options. You can:

  • Transfer the plan to another eligible beneficiary; Transfer up to $50,000 of the income to your RRSP, spousal RRSP or RDSP tax-free (if you have sufficient contribution room) if your child is over 21 years and the RESP is 10 years old. Withdraw the income and pay tax on it at your marginal tax rate, plus an additional tax of 20%.

Although any government grants will need to be returned to the government, your contributions, subject to investment risk, will always be returned to you tax free.