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Raising Awareness of the Canadian Registered Disability Savings Plan (RDSP)

  • Synopsis: Published: 2016-10-16 - Canadian Governments help people with disabilities plan for the future by raising awareness of the Registered Disability Savings Plan. For further information pertaining to this article contact: Employment and Social Development Canada.
Registered Disability Savings Plan (RDSP)

A Registered Disability Savings Plan (RDSP) is a Government of Canada program designed to enable individuals with disabilities, with assistance from family and friends to save for their future financial security. The Government of Canada assists people to save with the Canada Disability Savings Program, consisting of the Canada Disability Savings Grant and Canada Disability Savings Bond. The Canada Disability Savings Grant matches personal contributions. The Canada Disability Savings Bond provides funding to RDSPs of people with low and moderate incomes. Contributions to an RDSP are not tax deductible and can be made until the end of the year in which the beneficiary turns 59. Contributions that are withdrawn are not included in income for the beneficiary when they are paid out of an RDSP.

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Quote: "To help eligible Canadians with disabilities save, the Government of Canada can put up to $20,000 in the form of bond money into the RDSPs of low- and modest-income beneficiaries, even if no contributions are made."

The Registered Disability Savings Plan (RDSP) can help Canadians with disabilities achieve long-term financial security through two financial incentives - the Canada Disability Savings Bond and the Canada Disability Savings Grant. The more Canadians that are aware of the program, the better the chance that Canadians who meet the basic eligibility criteria will open a plan.

Today, the Honourable Carla Qualtrough, Minister of Sport and Persons with Disabilities, and the Honourable Michelle Stilwell, Minister of Social Development and Social Innovation of British Columbia, joined forces to challenge all ministers responsible for persons with disabilities across Canada to take actions to increase Registered Disability Savings Plan (RDSP) uptake in their provinces or territories. Province and territories are encouraged to report on their efforts on social media by using the #RDSPChallenge hashtag.

Minister Qualtrough applauded the Government of British Columbia's efforts to increase awareness and uptake of the RDSP, and encourages all eligible Canadians to apply for an RDSP. Over 33 percent of individuals in B.C. between the ages of 0 and 49 who are eligible for the disability tax credit have an RDSP, making it the province with the highest per capita uptake in the country.

Minister Qualtrough is also leading a consultation process to inform planned accessibility legislation. Canadians from around the country have already begun sharing their views on what an accessible Canada means to them. Minister Qualtrough encouraged all Canadians to have their say in the consultation process, either by attending an in-person engagement session or by participating in the online consultation. Canadians are also encouraged to follow @AccessibleGC on Twitter, AccessibleGC on Facebook and to follow the #AccessibleCanada hashtag. The consultation process will run until February 28, 2017.

The challenge launched today will culminate in the celebrations planned to mark the International Day for Persons with Disabilities on December 3.

"I am very proud that our government is committed to improving the financial security and quality of life for all Canadians. I am encouraging all my provincial and territorial counterparts to join me in helping to ensure Canadians with disabilities are equipped to participate equally in their communities and workplaces." -- The Honourable Carla Qualtrough, Minister of Sport and Persons with Disabilities

"I am proud of the work being done in B.C. to raise the awareness and uptake of RDSPs. Being recognized by the federal government as a leader in this area is something all British Columbians can be excited about and I hope other jurisdictions take up the challenge to increase their awareness efforts so more people with disabilities will be able to create a secure future for themselves and their families." -- The Honourable Michelle Stilwell, Minister of Social Development and Social Innovation of British Columbia

"I would like to thank the provincial and federal governments -- and all of the community organizations and groups that have been working so hard here in B.C. -- for their continued commitment to raising awareness about the benefits of RDSPs for people with disabilities. As the Chair of B.C.'s RDSP Action Group, I couldn't be more thrilled about the steps and actions that British Columbia has taken to increase uptake of the RDSP here in B.C." -- Norah Flaherty, Chair, Registered Disability Savings Plan (RDSP) Action Group

Quick Facts

  • To help eligible Canadians with disabilities save, the Government of Canada can put up to $20,000 in the form of bond money into the RDSPs of low- and modest-income beneficiaries, even if no contributions are made. The Government of Canada will also match contributions made into the plan by putting in up to $70,000 of grant money.
  • Since its creation, Canadians have collectively registered for more than 123,000 RDSPs and have benefited from over $1.5 billion in bonds and grants from the Government of Canada.

The Registered Disability Savings Plan

The Registered Disability Savings Plan (RDSP) helps Canadians with disabilities achieve long-term financial security. Eligible Canadians are able to receive two financial incentives from the Government of Canada that will be deposited into their RDSP, up to and including the year in which they turn 49. These two incentives are the Canada Disability Savings Bond and the Canada Disability Savings Grant:

The Bond is money that the Government deposits into the RDSPs of low and modest-income Canadians with a disability. If you have an RDSP and are eligible for the Bond, the Government will put up to $1,000 a year into your RDSP--up to $20,000 over your lifetime. You need to open an RDSP to apply for the Bond with a financial organization. You do not need to put money into an RDSP to get the Bond.

The Grant is money that the Government deposits into an RDSP to match contributions that you, your family or your friends put into your RDSP; up to $3,500 per year, and up to $70,000 over your lifetime.

Consultation to inform the development of accessibility legislation

Minister Qualtrough, Canada's first Minister of Sport and Persons with Disabilities, was mandated by the Prime Minister to lead an engagement process with stakeholders--including Canadians with disabilities, provinces, territories and municipalities--that would inform planned legislation to transform how the Government of Canada addresses accessibility.

The consultation process is now open until February 2017.

Starting in September, Canadians across Canada will be able to participate in the in-person consultation engagement process. In-person public consultations are planned to take place in the following cities:

  • St. John's, Newfoundland and Labrador / November 3, 2016
  • Halifax, Nova Scotia / December 9, 2016
  • Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island / December 8, 2016
  • Moncton, New Brunswick / October 20, 2016
  • Québec, Quebec / November 10, 2016
  • Montréal, Quebec / November 16, 2016
  • Ottawa, Ontario / November 30, 2016
  • Toronto, Ontario / February 8, 2017
  • Thunder Bay, Ontario / October 12, 2016
  • Winnipeg, Manitoba / October 3, 2016
  • Regina, Saskatchewan / September 28, 2016
  • Calgary, Alberta / October 13, 2016
  • Edmonton, Alberta / October 7, 2016
  • Vancouver, British Columbia / November 26, 2016
  • Victoria, British Columbia / November 7, 2016
  • Iqaluit, Nunavut / September 24, 2016
  • Yellowknife, Northwest Territories / September 26, 2016
  • Whitehorse, Yukon / September 22, 2016.

For the most up-to-date information on in-person venues and dates, and to participate online, please visit: Canada.ca/Accessible-Canada

Minister Qualtrough will also participate in roundtable discussions, as well as a National Youth Forum that will engage Canadian youth with disabilities in the policy discussion.

National Youth Forum

Minister Qualtrough, as part of her mandate to consult with Canadians on the development of new accessibility legislation, will host a one-day National Youth Forum in Ottawa on November 1, 2016. The Forum will provide an opportunity for Canadian youth with disabilities to discuss what accessibility means to them, share ideas for the new legislation, connect with peers and celebrate youth leadership in building a more accessible Canada.

Applicants must:

  • Be between 15 and 30 years old in November 2016;
  • Be residents of Canada;
  • Have a disability or have life, academic or work experience related to disability and accessibility; and
  • Demonstrate their leadership or involvement in an area related to disability and accessibility in their community, region or nationally.

The deadline to submit an application was 15, 2016. Successful applicants will be contacted by the Office for Disability Issues in the fall.

  • For more information about how to submit an application to participate in the National Youth Forum, please visit: Canada.ca/Accessible-Canada
  • For more information on the RDSP, please visit Canada.ca/RDSP

Related Information:

  1. Registered Disability Savings Plan RDSP Plans Canada - Canada leads the way with the worlds first Registered Disability Savings Plan an innovative policy attracting international attention - James Cawley
  2. Disability Savings Grants for Canadians (CDSG) - CDSGs are matching grants the Canadian Government will put into a beneficiary RDSP to assist savings - Samuel Li
  3. Canadians with Disabilities: New Online Financial Planning Initiative - Future Planning Tool for Persons with Disabilities will provide financial information to Canadians with disabilities, their families and caregivers - Employment and Social Development Canada




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