You are currently browsing the category archive for the ‘Planning’ category.

1. Receive up to $70,000 from the federal government in matching contributions. The federal government has implemented the Canada Disability Savings Grant program to assist Canadians with disabilities to save for their futures.

The federal government will contribute up to $3,500 per year to your RDSP through the Canada Disability Savings Grant program, if your net family income is below $81,941. (Family income is that of the beneficiary if the beneficiary is 18 years or older). The government’s matching contribution rates are as follows:

– $1,500 on the first $500 that you or your family contribute to your RDSP, and

– $2,000 on the next $1,000 that you contribute.

2. Receive up to $20,000 from the federal government without making a contribution. The Canada Disability Savings Bond program will contribute up to $20,000 into your RDSP if you have a low income.

The federal government will contribute $1,000 per year to your RDSP through the Canada Disability Savings Bond program, if your net family income is below $23,855. (Family income is that of the beneficiary once the beneficiary is 18 years or older.) A smaller amount is contributed into your RDSP if your incomes is between $23,856 and $40,970 – all without you making a contribution yourself.

3. Saving in an RDSP doesn’t affect other disability benefits. Your provincial disability benefits are not affected when you save in an RDSP, no matter what province or territory you live in. Federal government benefits, like Canada Pension Plan, Disability Benefits, Old Age Security and Guaranteed Income Supplement are also not affected.

When it comes time to withdraw your money from your RDSP, the federal government – and most provincial governments – have said that you can use any amount from your RDSP without affecting your benefits.

Quebec, New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island have said that your benefits won’t be affected until your monthly income is greater than a certain amount. (In New Brunswick, you can receive $800 per month; in Quebec, $300 per month; and in PEI, you can receive an amount that brings your income to the low income levels as defined by the National Council of Welfare.)

Remember that when you turn 65, your go off of your provincial disability benefits and on to the federal government programs for seniors: Old Age Security and Guaranteed Income Supplement.

4. Compound Interest. When you save money and invest it in an RDSP, it begins to earn you income. After only a few years, your RDSP’s annual investment income is greater than your annual $1,500 contribution. You can see in the table below that if you earn 5% on your savings, your annual investment income is greater than your annual contributions after only 5 years.

    Your Contributions Federal  Gov. Contributions Income on Investment Total RDSP Savings
    Year 1
    $1,500
    $4,500
    $300
    $6,300
    Year 2
    $1,500
    $4,500
    $615
    $12,915
    Year 3
    $1,500
    $4,500
    $946
    $19,861
    Year 4
    $1,500
    $4,500
    $1,293
    $27,154
    Year 5
    $1,500
    $4,500
    $1,658
    $34,811

 

5. You can spend your RDSP money on anything you want. Neither the federal government nor provincial governments have placed restrictions on what you can spend your RDSP money on. It’s yours – you can do what you want with it.

6. Anyone can make contributions to your RDSP. You. Your parents. Your grandparents. Your brothers, sisters, aunts and uncles. Even your friends. And when they contribute, the federal government contributes even more – up to three times more!

7. If you receive a lump sum amount, you can shelter you money in an RDSP. If you receive an inheritance, a legal settlement or a large severance payment, you may be able to put it into an RDSP for future use without affecting your federal or provincial disability benefits.

8. The income that you earn on your savings in an RDSP is tax deferred. You only have to pay tax when you make withdrawals from your RDSP. And you pay tax only on the government contributions and the investment income in your RDSP. You don’t pay tax on the money that you have contributed.

9. People will begin to see you differently. People have told us that when they own a valuable asset, others treat them like investors, customers and home owners rather than people with disabilities.

10. You will have more choices. Think what a difference it would make to have a bit more money so that you could begin to do things that you can’t financially do now.

(from www.rdspresource.ca)

Advertisements

Several reforms important to people with disabilities became law in mid-December when Bill C-47 (the last of the budget Bills) was passed by the Senate and given Royal Assent.

In his budget, Finance Minister Flaherty announced carry forward provisions for the Canada Disability Savings Grant and Bond as well as provisions for the rollover of RRSPs and RRIFs to the RDSPs of sons, daughters and grandchildren.

1.  Carry Forward Provisions for RDSP Grants and Bonds

Effective 2011, people’s Canada Disability Savings Grant and Bond entitlements can be carried forward.

When a person opens an RDSP, Canada Disability Savings Bond entitlements will automatically be calculated and paid into the plan for the preceding 10 years (but not before 2008, when the RDSP was launched).  This means people opening RDSPs in January, 2011 will can qualify (based on income) for up to $4,000 in Canada Disability Savings Bond – $1,000 for each of 2008, 2009, 2010 and 2011.

At the same time, the balances of unused CDSG entitlements will be determined for the same period. If contributions are made to the RDSP, Canada Disability Savings Grants will be paid on unused entitlements, up to an annual maximum of $10,500.  The matching rate on unused entitlements will be the same as if the contribution were made in that year.  In addition, contributions will be used against Grant entitlements at the highest rate first.

That means a contribution of $2,000 into a new RDSP in 2011 will result in a Canada Disability Savings Grant payment of $6,000 ($2,000 x 300%).  Combined with the Canada Disability Savings Bond, the result will be $10,000 from the federal government.

That’s equivalent to turning $2,000 into $12,000!  See table below:

Canada Disability Savings Bond $4,000
Contribution $2,000
Canada Disability Savings Grant $6,000
Total in RDSP $12,000

2.  RRSP/RRIF Rollover to a Registered Disability Savings Plan

The new provisions will permit parents and grandparents to rollover RRSPs and RRIFs, at death, to the RDSPs of financially dependent children and grandchildren, on a tax deferred basis.  A person is generally considered to be financially dependent if their income is below a specific threshold ($17,621 for 2010). A person whose income is above this amount may also be considered to be financially dependent if dependency can be demonstrated.

Normally any assets held in RRSPs and RRIFs become income in the year of the death.  When these assets are passed to the RDSP of a child or grandchild, the tax that would normally be payable is waived.

The amount of the rollover may not exceed the beneficiary’s available RDSP contribution room. That means as much as $200,000 can be rolled into a new RDSP.  If contributions have already been made then the amount will equal $200,000 minus previous contributions (This doesn’t include federal government contributions).

The rollover will count as contributions towards the beneficiary’s lifetime limit but will not be matched by Canada Disability Savings Grants. The rollover will be considered private contributions for the purpose of determining whether private or government contributions are greater. But because the rollover will not have been subject to income tax, it will be considered taxable when withdrawals are made.

The rollover is effective for deaths occurring on or after March 4, 2010. For deaths of an RRSP annuitant after 2007 and before 2011, special transitional rules will apply.

This entry was submitted by the Royal Bank of Canada

The Registered Disability Savings Plan (RDSP) was introduced by the government of Canada to help families and people with disabilities save for their long-term financial security.

The benefits of saving in an RDSP

Contributions to an RDSP are not tax-deductible, but they grow within the plan on a tax-deferred basis. In addition, contributions may be eligible for the Canada Disability Savings Grant (the grant) and the plan may be eligible for the Canada Disability Savings Bond (the bond). The grant provides matching contributions; no contributions are required for lower income individuals/families to receive the bond. Together, they could add up to $90,000 to your RDSP.

There is a lifetime contribution limit of $200,000 per beneficiary and no annual contribution limit.

Note that withdrawals trigger the repayment of any grant or bond received during the previous 10 years.

Making the most of your RDSP

Here are some age-related strategies that may help you maximize the value of your plan, depending on your circumstances.

When the beneficiary is a young child:

  • Make contributions that attract the grant as early as possible, to maximize tax-deferred growth and to minimize the effect of the grant “clawback” — if a withdrawal is made, any grant payments received in the previous 10 years must be paid back.
  • Try to make an annual contribution large enough to attract the maximum matching grant contributions. The earlier you start, the better chance you will have of reaching the maximum grant amount of $70,000.
  • The tax-deferred status of contributions makes the RDSP an ideal way to invest in long-term solutions like a growth oriented mutual fund.

When the beneficiary is a young adult:

  • Try to contribute every year because the grant and bond cannot be received following the year the beneficiary turns age 49.  Even if there is no intention to contribute, the bond can be maximized simply by opening the plan early enough.
  • Upon reaching the age of majority, a beneficiary who is capable of managing his or her own finances can become the holder of his or her own plan. This isn’t compulsory, however. If you are the parent and have been the holder while the beneficiary was a minor, you can continue as holder.
  • At this stage, an investment solution that strikes the right balance between growth and safety may make sense depending on when withdrawals are planned.

When the beneficiary is a mature adult (40+):

  • Contributions to an RDSP do not qualify for grant contributions following the year the beneficiary turns 49. In addition, plans are not eligible for the bond after this time.  But beneficiaries can still benefit from tax-deferred growth by contributing up until the year they turn age 59.
  • Lifetime Disability Assistance Payments (LDAPs ***See explanation below) can begin at any age but must begin by the end of the year in which the beneficiary turns age 60. Consider waiting at least 10 years after the final grant and bond have been received into the plan before requesting LDAPs; otherwise, the grant and bond payments received in the previous 10 years will have to be returned to the government.
  • The portion of the LDAP consisting of grant, bond and investment income is taxable at the beneficiary’s marginal rate, which may influence the decision to begin payments. For example, if the beneficiary’s marginal tax rate is likely to decrease at retirement age, it may be advantageous to delay LDAPs until that time.
  • More conservative investment options, including those that generate regular tax-efficient income while providing some growth to offset inflation, should be considered as payments from the RDSP must begin.

How RBC can help:

RBC Royal Bank® is the preferred RDSP provider for PLAN. RBC has a wide range of RDSP-eligible investments and charges no RDSP withdrawal or annual administration fees.

To learn more about RDSPs or to arrange to open a plan and get advice about investment options that are the best fit for you, call 1-800-463-3863, you can also visit the RBC RDSP website or book an appointment with a knowledgeable RBC advisor


***Lifetime Disability Assistance Payments:  Lifetime Disability Assistance Payments (LDAPs) are regularly scheduled periodic payments that can begin at any time and must continue for the life of the beneficiary. They must begin no later than the end of the year in which the beneficiary turns age 60.

 

By Matthew Quetton, CEO, PLAN

Truthfully, I am terrible with money; great at spending it, terrible at saving it. When I met with a financial planner for the first time last year I realized just how much I was behind the game. Failing to buy a house as a young couple, we were now virtually locked out of the market. Without the equity of a small condo behind us, and with two young children requiring the space of at least a small 3-bedroom, we were not able to afford even the smallest space that would be suitable for us. We did have some money saved in an RRSP, thank goodness, which we’d be able to apply to a down payment should things improve. But the fact that Leslie had not returned to work for the 7 years since Theo was born continued to pose a challenge to getting ahead financially. With Theo’s daily needs and array of specialists and appointments to manage, it just hadn’t been feasible for her to return to work. With the children continuing to grow, and our housing needs with them, the prospect of home ownership continued to recede, and our hopes for security with it. Fears for Theo’s future were deeply compounded by our financial uncertainty. We were facing a future decidedly different from the one we previously assumed we’d enjoy.

Caught in the midst of this vicious cycle, we were introduced to the RDSP for the first time. Here, at last, was something to give us hope. It certainly wouldn’t solve all our problems – or Theo’s – but was finally something that seemed to offer the prospect of breaking the downward spiral we’d fallen into. Perhaps something we could rally around, maybe even getting friends and family involved. It felt like there was light at the end of the tunnel.

Signing up was easy. In fact, it made me immensly proud to march down to the bank with our tax returns, proof of Theo’s eligibility, and sign up for the world’s first savings vehicle for people with special needs. It was pretty cool really; we qualified for something special, something not every Canadian could participate in. The hard work we did to manage Theo’s care was being rewarded, the uncertainty of our future was being recognized and supported. I was almost starting to feel like my old self again!

It went even beyond us; opening Theo’s RDSP felt like we were participating in something great. I had been contributing at PLAN for a few months and had become aware of just how large a challenge the RDSP had been for PLAN to advocate for. It went way beyond just convincing the banks to open the accounts. Securing Ottawa’s support for the Grants and Bonds was a challenge with the Finance Department. Even tougher was the challenge with the Provinces to allow for the accumulation of savings inside the RDSP without affecting elligability for disability benefits. Now, for the first time ever, being disabled did not mean being in poverty.

It was the effects of this amazing achievement I was feeling when I boasted later to my father-in-law about opening Theo’s account. As a retired commercial loans officer, he knew I wasn’t kidding when I told him it was the best investment on the planet. Normally you’d have to be Warren Buffet to get the kinds of investment returns the RDSP delivers together with the Grants and Bonds. As well, the recent change allowing my father-in-law to roll the balance of his RRSP directly into Theo’s RDSP is a huge benefit creating a significant tax savings. So we’d done it. We had entered the world of financial respectability, and he proved it by sending some checks to deposit in Theo’s account. It was a subtle but powerful shift: ee were no longer the ‘unfortunate’ destined to grovel for handouts at the pleasure of the state. We were full financial citizens, benefiting from supports from the state to be sure, but able to hold our heads high, under our own steam and with the respect of our parents and peers. We’d always been proud of our ability to make our own way, so participating in the RDSP went a long way to restoring our sense of self.

We did encounter some problems later on, however. I was notified by the bank that in fact they did not have the correct paperwork to secure the government contributions. My return trip to the bank illustrated to me just how complicated the RDSP was to manage, both for the bank and the government. The Financial Planner I met with was even more confused by the paperwork than I was, and had to make several phone calls to finally determine what was required. We got things sorted out but as an entrepreneur, it got me wondering about what the RDSP was like as a product for the bank. I happened to know some folks at Bank of Montreal and at RBC through my work at UBC so I asked them: Was the RDSP good for them? ‘Yes’, and ‘No’, they told me. ‘Yes’ in the long run, since the bank benefits from the funds on deposit. But ‘No’ in the short run. Turns out it actually costs the bank money to open an RDSP. The application is complicated and clients have a lot of questions about the grants, bonds, and withdrawal rules.

Makes sense: All that time I spent with the planner fixing our paperwork, was time she couldn’t spend with another client. Ultimately the bank is thrilled to have additional funds on deposit and knows additional business can come their way; I might open another account along with the RDSP. But I realized how much I needed to support the banks in rolling out this groundbreaking product, that, for the time being at least, was going to cost them money, but create in incredible foundation for the well-being of potentially tens of thousands of disabled Canadians.

Admittedly there are some changes still required to improve the RDSP: in Provinces without the benefit of BC’s Representation Agreement it can be tricky to administer the fund without Guardianship, the withdrawal rules deny older fund holders from the benefits of the Bond and Grant, and there’s other ways it can still be improved. But the more I learn about PLAN and other friends and champions of the RDSP, the more confident I am that their efforts will continue to improve it. Rome, as they say, wasn’t built in a day after all.

So while it might not be perfect – yet – the RDSP is a breakthrough for families of people with special needs. It allows us to participate credibly with our peers, moving us out of a state of legislated poverty. It helps restore our hope and dignity as we manage the daily challenges of raising a child with special needs. And it certainly makes me a little less terrible with money, which is good for Theo.

In the early days of the RDSP, a financially astute parent said, “If you want to maximize the benefit of the RDSP (and you have the cash to afford it), you should put $171,500 into the plan in the first year and then an additional $1,500 per year each of the next 29 years.”  It makes sense from a purely mathematical perspective.  In 30 years time (with an average annual return of 5.5%) the RDSP will be worth approximately $1,000,000.

This method maximizes the federal government contributions, it maximizes the tax savings and it takes advantage of provincial government rules that permit people on disability benefits to have an RDSP.  In other words it is useful from both a saving and an estate planning perspective.  But this scenario makes a couple of vital assumptions:

  • That you have $171,500, and
  • That your relative is already 18.

Recently, I had a conversation with an equally astute parent who added a third vital assumption to the list.  You have to be able to invest the $171,500 for a long period – nearly to thirty years.  He emphasized, “If you withdraw any amount before thirty years from the time you open the plan, you will have to repay some amount to the federal government.  While it’s money you wouldn’t have had anyway, most people are adverse to this idea.”

This is really important because a lot of families might be able to find that much cash but they would need to borrow against a home or cash in an RRSP or other asset.  That asset may represent their emergency cushion that they would use for themselves or their relative if something unforeseen arose.  That is, they cannot be sure that they can part with it for 30 years.

The significance of this latter point is that most families will find the RDSP useful either as a saving or an estate planning tool but not both.

As a saving tool, an investment of $30,000 over 20 years will net as much as $90,000 in Canada Disability Savings Grant and Bond from the federal government.  Thirty years from starting, the RDSP will be worth about $350,000 (with an average annual investment return of 5.5%).  That’s great.

As an estate planning tool, $200,000 contributed to a plan after the beneficiary turns 50 will not garner any federal contribution.  It will, however, earn income on a tax deferred basis.  And any amount can be withdrawn at any time without any penalties from the federal government. In most provinces, these withdrawals (of any amount) will have no impact on the beneficiary’s disability benefits.

So in summary, the RDSP is a great savings vehicle and it is a great estate planning tool but – unless you can part with your investment for the long haul, it does not serve both purposes at one time.

Hopefully you don’t go to sleep at night wondering how to explain payments from RDSPs. We do!!!

It would be easy to take the attitude – “It’s complicated.  I’ll learn it when I need to.”  At PLAN, we don’t think that’s good enough.  It’s an investment.  It’s an insurance policy.  It’s the future.  We want to know that it will work so we can go to sleep at night with peace of mind – that it will work for our family members. 

In planning for the future over many years, families tell us that peace of mind comes with knowledge and action.

Here’s a summary of our latest, greatest explanation of payments.  (The full detailed document is attached at the bottom of the post)

Summary Table

Payment Type Federal Government Contributions exceed Private Contributions (at the beginning of the year) Private Contributions exceed Federal Government Contributions (at the beginning of the year)
LDAP requests when beneficiary is under age 60 – permitted- maximum of LDAPs combined with other payments must be limited by formula – permitted- LDAPs limited by formula
LDAP requests when beneficiary is age 60 or over – required- maximum of LDAPs combined with other payments must equal amount determined by the formula – required- formula determines the maximum LDAP payment
Flexible DAP requests when beneficiary is under age 60 – permitted- maximum of Flexible DAPs combined with other payments must be limited by formula – permitted- no limit on amount
Flexible DAP requests when beneficiary is age 60 or over – permitted- maximum of these payments combined with other payments must equal amount determined by the formula – permitted- no limit on amount
Beneficiary-requested DAPs – permitted between the ages of 27 and 59-  maximum of these payments combined with other payments must be limited by formula – not permitted
Terminal-iIllness DAPs – permitted whenever a physician provides a certificate that the beneficiary will not live longer than 5 years- no limit on amount – permitted whenever a physician provides a certificate that the beneficiary will not live longer than 5 years- no limit on amount

Payments – Detail – May 2010

If you would like easy to understand information on the new Registered Disability Savings Plan please visit www.rdsp.com.

The 2010 Federal Budget had some really exciting news regarding the RDSP.  For those of you who were able to read through the entire text, you may have come across some very important highlights, including:

  • In recognition that families of children with disabilities may not be able to contribute regularly to their Registered Disability Savings Plan (RDSP), Budget 2010 proposes to allow a 10-year carry forward of Canada Disability Savings Grant (CDSG) and  Canadian Disability Savings Bond (CDSB) entitlements.  In event of delays of opening a RDSP as a result of the complex guardianship processes that are in place in some provinces, the proposed carry forward will preserve a beneficiary’s entitlement to CDSGs and CDSBs so that they are available when a plan is opened.
  • In the Budget, the government is also encouraging all provinces to look at introducing more streamlined alternative processes to formal guardianship arrangements, such as those in place in British Columbia.
  • To provide parents more flexibility in ensuring that their savings may be used to support a disabled child, when they are no longer able to support the child, Budget 2010 proposes to allow a deceased individual’s RRSP or RRIF proceeds to be transferred, on a tax-free basis, to the RDSP of a financially dependent infirm child or grandchild.
  • To enhance accessibility for people with disabilities, Budget 2010 extends the Enabling Accessibility Fund and provides $45 million over the next three years. The Fund will continue its support for small projects which focus on removing barriers and enhancing accessibility. The program will also support a number of mid-sized projects, allowing for communities to undertake larger retrofit projects or foster partnerships for new facilities.

PLAN is very pleased with the proposed initiatives around the RDSP that have been outlined in the Budget.  These will have serious impact on thousands of Canadians with an RDSP or looking to set up an RDSP.

Here is a quick breakdown of the highlights identified above:

RRSP Rollover

The first change is that parents and grandparents will now be able to roll their RRSPs and RRIFs into a RDSP of a loved one with a disability on a tax deferred basis.

The advantage of the rollover is twofold.  Because the RRSPs and RRIFs are collapsed at death, the entire amount becomes taxable income in one year.  This often results in substantial tax payable.  When the funds are passed into an RDSP no tax is payable.  When the funds are withdrawn from the RDSP, they are taxable in the hands of the beneficiary.  In most cases they will be withdrawn over many years, taxed at the beneficiary’s tax rate, and little tax will be paid.

For example, if a grandparent with a $100,000 RIF were to pass away, the $100,000 would become income in the year of their death and, depending on the province, would be taxed at about 40%.  If rolled over into the RDSP of a grandchild, that’s a $40,000 savings!

The rollover is available to people who qualify for RDSPs.  In addition, the beneficiary must be a dependent.  Dependency is determined in one of two ways: either, there is a relationship of dependency – the parents or grandparents provide care or financial support or the beneficiary is financially dependent.  Adults are considered financially dependent if their income is below $17,621 (for 2010).

The amount that can be rolled over is limited to the contribution space remaining in a beneficiary’s RDSP.  Remember that the lifetime limit is $200,000.  This amount will not result in a federal government contribution.

Also, check with your lawyer or accountant about rules for RRSP and RRIF holders who have died since 2008.

Carry Forward of Grants and Bonds

The second change is the ability to carry forward entitlements for the Canada Disability Savings Grant and Bond.  The 2010 budget proposes to pay the Grant on entitlements for the previous 10 years (but not earlier than 2008 when the plan was established), if the person was eligible for the Disability Tax Credit then.

This means people establishing plans now will be able to claim the Grant for 2008 and 2009.  If a family opens a plan for their loved one and contributes $4,500 in 2010, the federal government will contribute as much as 10,500 in Grant and, if the person qualifies, they may be eligible for as much as $3,000 more in Bond.

While up to 10 years of entitlements may be carried forward, no more than 10,500 in Grant will be paid in any given year.

Guardianship and Law Reform

Many families outside of BC, who would like to assist a relative who might not be found to have contractual capacity, have not opened RDSPs because of the obstacles presented by adult guardianship.  If an adult does not act as holder of a plan that is set up when they are an adult, then the holder must be a legal representative.  Outside of BC, the options are adult guardianship or a Power of Attorney.

Many families have not opened plans because they do not want to subject their loved one to the process of being deemed incompetent and having many decision-making powers stripped away.  Others have expressed concern at the cost of the process

People in BC are fortunate to be able to appoint a legal “Representative” with a Representation Agreement even if they might not have contractual capacity.  A Representation Agreement is much like a Power of Attorney, except the person making the Agreement does not need to demonstrate contractual capacity nor does the Representation Agreement need to be drawn up by a lawyer.  In fact, in our experience, most people do not visit lawyers.  If a Representation Agreement is used to manage routine financial matters, then there must be two Representatives or a monitor must be appointed to safeguard the person if they are vulnerable.

The laws governing legal representation are provincial.  While the federal government has considered implementing a short term solution as proposed by PLAN, their preference is that it be done right by making the appropriate provincial and territorial reforms.  The carry forward rules mean that people will not be penalized while provinces consider changes to their adult guardianship and supported decision-making laws.

What is the solution? Provinces will decide, but the experiences of people with disabilities, families, seniors and others who have used British Columbia’s Representation Agreements have been very positive.

As families know all too well, parents do not live forever.  Regardless of who takes on responsibility for safeguarding a loved one into the future, the options for assisting a vulnerable person with their decision-making is either adult guardianship or Representation Agreements.  Representation Agreements provide the option of giving legal status to people’s support networks, whether those people be family or friends.   In developing long term plans for families, we have found them to be essential tools.

The recent ratification of the UN Convention on the Rights of People with Disabilities provides added incentives for provinces to take another look at the Representation Agreement.

Enabling Accessibility for Persons with Disabilities

The reforms to the RDSP have garnered most of the press but also in Budget 2010, the Government renewed its commitment to helping all Canadians to participate fully in their

communities by providing another $45 million for the Enabling Accessibility Fund.

The importance of accessibility can’t be overstated.  Catherine Frazee likens accessibility to a welcome.  Indeed, as Canadians do we want to leave anyone stranded on our doorsteps, unable to come in and enjoy our hospitality?

This is a commendable commitments.  Most people acknowledge that making Canada accessibility to all citizens will take time.  The commitment to this fund means that the federal government is making Canada accessible building by building, community by community.

To find out more about the Federal Budget 2010 you can visit:http://www.budget.gc.ca/2010/home-accueil-eng.html

To find out more about PLAN’s continuing public policy campaigns you can visit http://www.plan.ca or click here: http://www.plan.ca/sections/campaigns.html

If you would like easy to understand information on the new Registered Disability Savings Plan please visit www.rdsp.com.

This year the new income levels for 2010 Canada Disability Savings Grant and Canada Disability Savings Bond were announced.  As I mentioned in the post New Income Levels for 2010!, the new income levels to receive the Bond for 2010 are changed every year to account for inflation.  For 2010, if your income is below or equal to $21,947, you are eligible for the full $1,000.  If your income is between $21,947 and $39,065, you are eligible for a pro-rated amount of the Bond.

This leads to the question, what is the formula to determine how much Canada Disability Savings Bond you will receive if your income is between $21,947 and $39,065?

To determine what amount you are eligible to receive, you need to use the following formula:

$1000 – [$1000 * (A-B)/(C-B)]

Where:

A= Family income, B=Lower threshold ($21,947) and C=Upper Threshold ($39,065).

For example, let’s imagine that someone with an income of $35,000 wants to figure out how much Canada Disability Savings Bond they are eligible to receive.

The amount of Bond would be determined by the following:
$1000 – [$1000 * ($35,000-$21,947)/($39,065-$21,947)] = $1000 – [$1000* ($13,053/$17,118)] = $237.47

One of the most common questions I have been receiving lately is “can I transfer my RDSP from one bank to another?”.  Quick answer, Yes.  The legislation does allow for the RDSP to be transfered from one financial institution to another.

Does this mean I can go down to the bank and transfer right now?  Maybe. Maybe not.

Many people I have chatted with have said that they were told by their financial institution that transfers are currently not possible because there is no Government RDSP Transfer Form.  True, currently there is not a Government RDSP Transfer Form (although it will be ready by the end of February 2010), but the Government is capable of accepting transactions from financial organizations opening or closing RDSPs as a result of a transfer.

What does this mean?

It means that financial institutions can electronically submit information to the Government opening an RDSP and have the option to indicate it is part of a transfer.  Once this application is received, the RDSP would have the status of “pending” until the prior RDSP (from the old financial institution) has been closed, at which time the status would change to “registered”.  Note that the old RDSP must be closed within 120 days for the new one to be deemed “registered”.

Financial institutions can also submit an electronic request to close an RDSP, and can indicate that the closure reason is due to a “transfer”.

So why are most financial institutions saying they cannot transfer yet?

As many of you are probably aware, there have been some delays in completing the electronic system requirements around the RDSP, and many financial institutions started off by registering RDSPs manually.  Some financial institutions may not have the electronic systems currently in place to transfer and are waiting for the RDSP Transfer Forms from the Government to come out early this year (probably end of February 2010).

When the RDSP Transfer Forms come out early this year, this should allow all the financial institutions to transfer RDSPs across to another financial institution.  We will post an update when these forms come online.

If you would like easy to understand information on the new Registered Disability Savings Plan please visit www.rdsp.com

As many of you probably are aware, throughout our discussion we have consistently tried to provide a clear explanation of the type of payments that you are allowed to take out of an RDSP. To see what type of payments the plan allows, you can view the post Payments from an RDSP: An Effort to Make it Understandable.  In today’s post I want to highlight that although the legislation and regulations allows for all of these payments to be withdrawn from the plan, it only requires financial institutions to provide the formula payments (or Lifetime Disability Assistance Payments).  Again, a financial institution does not have to offer lump sum payments to come out of the plan if they do not want to.

This is why, in the post “Mapping your Plan“, we highlight the importance of running through with your financial advisor how you want to use the plan.  By doing so, you can find out then and there whether you are allowed to take out lump sum payments.  If you find out that they do not allow lump sum payments and you wanted to be able to take out lump sums, then you may want to look at another financial institution.  Currently the only bank which has verified that they allow all types of payments is the Royal Bank of Canada.  In all likelihood many of the other banks will most likely allow all types of payments but it will be important that you find this out when planning for your RDSP, as we have heard of a few financial institutions restricting lump sum payments.

This probably won’t be an issue for many people, as I expect a lot of people to simply take out the formula payments (lifetime disability assistance payments), but for those who are using the RDSP differently, you will want to verify this option.

Subscribe by email

Facebook Page

Downloads