FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
OTTAWA, November 25, 2016 – In the context of Education Savings Week, the Canadian Alliance of Student Associations (CASA) would like to highlight the responsibility that government has to ensure that families from all income levels are able to save for their children’s education. To fulfill this responsibility, changes must be made to the Registered Education Savings Plan (RESP), a tax incentive that encourages families to save for their children’s future education.
Though helpful, RESPs currently disproportionately benefit higher income families. In fact, although only 33% of Canadian families with children under 18 have an annual income of over $90,000, almost two thirds of RESP beneficiaries are part of this group. For a number of reasons, including a lack of disposable income, Canadians in lower income brackets are less likely to open an RESP for their child. As a result, these families unknowingly lose out on the additional support provided through the plan, such as the Canada Learning Bond and the Additional Canadian Education Savings Grant.
“RESPs were created to allow all families to save for post-secondary education,” explains CASA’s Executive Director, Michael McDonald. “It is of the utmost importance that these benefits are made more accessible to the low-income families that need them most.”
CASA is recommending that the government automatically send the Canada Learning Bond to all eligible families, which they will be able to deposit into a RESP. This will encourage all families to create RESP accounts and will ensure a more equitable distribution of the benefits of this program. For more information on the recommendations, see CASA’s backgrounder.
Established in 1995, the Canadian Alliance of Student Associations (CASA) is a non-partisan, not-for-profit, national student organization composed of 21 student associations representing 250,000 post-secondary students from coast to coast. CASA advocates for a Canadian post-secondary education system that is accessible, affordable, innovative, and of the highest quality.
Lindsay Boyd, Communications and Public Relations Officer
Phone: 613-236-3457 ext. 224