This is Part 2 in our 3-part series on RDSP accounts or Registered Disability Savings Plans.
Today we are talking about working with RDSPs.
RDSPs are an effective way to save for your child’s financial future, or for your own if you are age of majority.
RDSPs can be started if you are eligible for the disability tax credit.
Contributions can be made to an RDSP up to a lifetime maximum of $200,000. Grants can also be earned in an RDSP – the government will contribute up to $70,000. Bonds can be paid into an RDSP from the government as well and bonds can be paid up to $20,000. Bonds are based on income – family income or your personal individual income; and it is a lower income threshold than grant contributions. You can consult the current legislation for the amount of income on an annual basis. Grants will be paid to an RDSP based on contributions and can be paid up to 300% of any contribution that has been made.
A contribution can attract up to $3,500 of grant money with a $1,500 contribution if family income is under, currently, about $100,000. And that can be collected back on years that grants may not have been applied for or one was eligible, but did not open an RDSP in time. You can go back up to 10 years to collect unearned but eligible grants in an RDSP.
RDSP withdrawals are designed such that an RDSP is kept open for the long-term financial security of the beneficiary of the RDSP. If withdrawals are made within 10 years of a grant or bond being paid into the account, there can be a proportionate claw back on withdrawals, and grants and bonds may need to be paid back to the government to some extent. Therefore, waiting for 10 years before withdrawals are made, is usually a really effective way to maintain the integrity of the account.
When withdrawals are made, you can withdraw in two formats. One is a Disability Assistance Payment or a DAP, and that’s a one-time lump sum withdrawal that might be made. An LDAP or a Lifetime Disability Assistance Payment is made or has to be started by the time the beneficiary is age 60. And it’s an annual recurring amount that needs to be withdrawn on a regular basis. There are some minimum and maximum requirements on an LDAP withdrawal, and it is dependent on a number of factors within the RDSP account.
You may be wondering what the difference is between a holder of an RDSP and the beneficiary. The holder of the RDSP is the individual who makes the decisions on the account. The beneficiary is the one who receives the benefit of the RDSP account. Many times the holder and the beneficiary are the same individual, but that is not always the case. For example, if the beneficiary is a minor, oftentimes the parents or guardian will be the holder of the RDSP account. And grants and bonds will be based on any income of the beneficiary’s family or parents in that circumstance. When the beneficiary and holder are the same individual, the beneficiary has to be at least 18 years of age and has to have capacity to make decisions on their own.
Parents can maintain the holder status on their child’s RDSP account, even if the child is 18 years of age or older, if the parent is the legal guardian of the child still.
RDSPs can be some of the most important dollars that families save for their loved ones, but they are also very complex. If you have any further questions, please reach out to us and we’re happy to discuss.