Who are the three key players in any RESP?

The subscriber, who is typically but not necessarily a parent or grandparent, sets up the RESP account and makes the contributions into the RESP for the beneficiary. A subscriber must be a Canadian resident with a valid SIN (Social Insurance Number). Two people can act jointly as subscribers as long as they are spouses or common law partners. A subscriber can also be a primary caregiver to the child, such as child care departments or organizations that maintain the child who will receive payments.

The beneficiary, who is typically but not necessarily a child or grandchild, receives the educational assistance payments from the RESP account. They will get the contributions and the income earned on those contributions in the form of Education Assistance Payments (EAPs).

The promoter is any person or organization offering RESPs to the public and administering the RESP account. For example, the Canadian Scholarship Trust Foundation is a promoter of RESPs, such as CST Spark.