You can open a managed RESP with Wealthsimple. Managed (Invest) accounts are a part of Wealthsimple's automated investing service. We manage your investments for you using a personalized portfolio of low-fee exchange-traded funds.
A Registered Education Savings Plan (RESP) is an account designed to save for a child’s education. RESPs are tax-free accounts, so you won't need to pay tax on any gains that accumulate over time.
There are several different government grants available for RESPs. Wealthsimple automatically applies for each grant on your behalf each year. The grants you receive do not need to be paid back to the government as long as they go towards a child's education.
Open an RESP
With Wealthsimple, you can open an Individual RESP or a Family RESP.
- Individual RESP: An Individual RESP has only one beneficiary.
- Family RESP: A family RESP can have as many beneficiaries as you need. All beneficiaries in a family RESP must be siblings. If one of your kids decides not to attend a post-secondary institution, the money can be used for your other children's education.
- The child’s full name
- The child’s Social Insurance Number (SIN)
- The child’s date of birth
- The email of the child’s Primary Caregiver (PCG) if they are not an owner of the account or your spouse
To open an RESP, follow these instructions —
- Log into my.wealthsimple.com and sign in to your Invest & Save profile
- Select Add or transfer an account
- Choose No, I’ll start with a fresh account
- Select RESP from the account menu
- Follow the prompts to finish setting up your RESP
- Sign in to the Wealthsimple mobile app
- Tap the Arrow icon at the bottom of your screen
- Scroll down and tap Add an account
- Select Automate your investments
- Choose the RESP menu item and tap Continue
- Follow the prompts to finish setting up your RESP
Frequently asked questions
Why is my SIN required to open an account with Wealthsimple?
All registered accounts (such as a TFSA or RRSP) must be registered with the CRA. In order to register these accounts with the CRA, we require your SIN. Additionally, all non-registered accounts require that we verify your identity with a third-party credit reporting agency to follow FINTRAC identity verification rules, which also requires your SIN.
Can I open an RESP for a child that lives outside of Canada?
No, RESPs are accounts created by the Canadian government for residents of Canada. If a child does not reside in Canada, they are unable to be the beneficiary of an RESP.
Can I open a self-directed trading RESP with Wealthsimple?
No, RESPs are only offered on as managed (Invest) accounts where your funds are invested for you.
Who can open an Individual RESP?
Anyone in a child’s life can open an individual RESP for that child as long as they are eligible to open a Wealthsimple account.
Who can open an Adult RESP?
An Adult Beneficiary can open an Adult RESP account with Wealthsimple. An Adult Beneficiary is a Canadian resident who is between 18 and 20 years of age, and born in 2004 or after.
Who can open a Family RESP?
Anyone who is a blood relative of the beneficiary can open a Family RESP, as long as they are eligible to open a Wealthsimple account.
Who is an Adult Beneficiary?
An Adult Beneficiary is a Canadian resident who is between 18 and 20 years of age, and born in, or after, 2004.
What information do I need to open an Adult RESP?
You will need your full legal name, your social insurance number (SIN) and your date of birth. If you are 18 years old and live with your legal guardian (usually your parents), you will also need the name and email of one of your legal guardians.
Can I convert my Individual RESP into a Family RESP?
No. However, you can create a new Family RESP with the beneficiary listed on the Individual RESP, and then have the holdings transferred over to the new account. Once this has been done, you can close your original Individual RESP and make contributions going forward to your new Family RESP. In order to do this, please contact our support team.
What grants can I apply for through my RESP?
Wealthsimple supports the following grants: Canada Education Savings Grant (CESG), Canada Learning Bond (CLB), and the British Columbia Training and Education Savings Grant (BCTESG). For more information about these grants,click here.
Who is considered the primary caregiver (PCG) for my RESP?
The primary caregiver is the person who receives the Canada Child Benefit (CCB) - the monthly payment the government makes to families to help with the cost of raising children. You can find out more about who is considered the primary caregiver on the Government of Canada website.
Why is “no” checked off next to Parent/Legal Guardian for my name when I am the beneficiary’s parent?
The government transactions only have one field for the Legal Guardian, which is why when you fill out the online application, you are restricted to inputting just one legal guardian/custodial parent. This information has no effect on the government application and it does not represent your familial situation in any way.
How much does it cost to use an RESP with Wealthsimple?
It is free to open a Wealthsimple RESP account. If you are eligible for and receive the CLB grant, we will also waive our management fees on your RESP account.
Wealthsimple’s standard management fee is 0.5%. For accounts over $100,000, this fee drops down to 0.4%. You can learn more about our fees here.
Can I add a co-owner to my RESP?
You can add a spouse or common-law partner as a co-owner to a family RESP when you initially set up the account. After the account has been opened, there will no longer be the option to add a co-owner to your existing account. However, if you contact our support team, we can help you open a new co-owned family RESP, and transfer the funds from your initial account to the new one.
If your co-owner does not already have a Wealthsimple account, they will need to set one up. When you add their email during the account setup, a “shell” account is created for them. A password reset email is also sent to them, and they can login to this shell account and set up their profile after resetting their password. Once their profile is set up, they can Review agreements under the RESP to sign off on the agreements.
If your co-owner already has a Wealthsimple account, they can login to their Wealthsimple profile and Review agreements under the RESP to sign off on the agreements.
Do I need to pay taxes when I withdraw RESP funds for education?
Any gains are taxed in the hands of the beneficiary (the child) when withdrawn from your RESP. Since student income is generally very low or even non-existent, the beneficiary may end up having to pay very little or nothing at all.
What if I want to withdraw the funds from my RESP for something other than my child’s education?
It is possible to withdraw funds from your RESP for non-educational purposes. However, you will not be able to withdraw gains or grants from the account. To learn more about withdrawing from an RESP, click here.
Can I hold cash in my RESP instead of investing my funds?
No, there is no option to hold cash in managed accounts. However, you can consider moving your portfolio to our high-interest savings ETF option for a no-risk investing alternative.
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