FAQs.

Helpful answers to pressing questions.

frequently asked questions

Check out the following help topics:

Registered Accounts

To change your RRIF payment amount, simply complete our RRIF Payment change form and email it to us at customersupport@qtrade.ca

On average it takes 10 business days to fully process a RRIF payment change, which means you should submit your Payment Change Form at least 10 business days before your next scheduled payment. If you have less than 10 business days until your next payment, the reduction will come into effect on the payment after that.

To convert your RRSP to a RRIF, you will need to open a RRIF account by November 30 in the year you turn 71. If we do not receive your application by that date, we will automatically convert your RRSP to a RRIF.

Please note: Trading activity on the new plan will be restricted until the receipt of the required application.

The year after you open your RRIF, you must begin taking payments out of your account. Payments are calculated using a specific percentage based on your age, and the total value of your RRIF assets as of December 31 of the previous year. We don't automatically sell assets for you to make cash available for your RRIF payments, so be sure to do that at least a week ahead of your scheduled payment date.

To set up a registered education savings plan (RESP), open a Qtrade RESP account, and make contributions to the plan or invite anyone else to contribute. An RESP beneficiary (the future student) must be a Canadian resident with a Social Insurance Number (SIN) when the plan is opened. Anyone may open an RESP, but usually it is the beneficiary’s parent. Your SIN must also be provided when you open the RESP.

There is no minimum or maximum beneficiary age to open an individual plan. Contributions may be made for up to 30 years, and the plan may stay open for up to 35 years. If the beneficiary qualifies for the disability tax credit, these timelines are extended by five years.

In terms of personal contributions, there is no maximum annual contribution limit, as long as the lifetime personal contribution does not exceed $50,000 per beneficiary. However, there are annual limits to the amount of government assistance, which could influence personal contribution timing. Tax treatment depends on source of the money and timing:

  • Personal contributions are after-tax, meaning there is no tax deduction at that time.
  • Government assistance is not taxable when credited to a plan.
  • While in the plan, there is no tax on income earned on either personal or government contributions.
  • When funds are withdrawn, all income and government grant assistance is taxable to the beneficiary when paid as education assistance, but withdrawal of personal contributions is not taxable.

Read more at the Government of Canada website.

The main source of federal government support is the Canada Education Savings Grant (CESG). Currently, the basic CESG is a 20% matching grant of up to $500 annually, to a lifetime maximum of $7,200. While it is ideal to start contributing to an RESP as early as possible to take advantage of the CESG, not to mention the compounded growth, that grant room accumulates from the year in which a child is born. Unused basic CESG grant room is carried forward and can be applied against future contributions, subject to a maximum additional grant of $500 per year. In other words, if a $5,000 contribution is made to an RESP account, $1,000 in total CESG would be paid. This carryforward room must be claimed before the beneficiary turns 18 years of age.

Even if you get a late start on contributing to an RESP, children who are 16 or 17 years old may still qualify for the CESG. To be eligible, they must meet at least one of the following conditions before the end of the calendar year they turn 15:

  • At least $2,000 has been contributed to the RESP
  • A minimum annual contribution of $100 has been made to the RESP in any four previous years

In theory, if the cash is available, the full lifetime $50,000 contribution could be made in one year, but then only a maximum of $1,000 in CESG would be collected, and you would forego thousands of future government support money.

Depending on your income level, you may also be eligible for other federal support, including the Canada Learning Bond. In addition, some provinces offer educational supports. To find out more, please refer to the Government of Canada’s page on provincial education savings incentives.

Read more at the Government of Canada website.

You can choose how much and what type of withdrawal is to be taken from the RESP. There are three main types of withdrawals:

Education Assistance Payment (EAP)

An EAP is the amount paid to a beneficiary (a student) from an RESP to help finance the cost of post-secondary education. It can be paid once a beneficiary is attending qualified education, training or an apprenticeship program – either in Canada or abroad. Any government contributions or investment growth in the plan will be taxable to the student (beneficiary) when withdrawn. To withdraw funds as an EAP, download and complete the Educational Assistance Payment (EAP) And Post Secondary Education (PSE) Request Form and Proof of Enrollment Form or copy of course schedule with letter from Post-Secondary Institution (including name and address) stating that the student is enrolled in a full or part time program.

Refund of contributions

Personal contributions can be returned to you at any time without tax consequences, as long as the beneficiary is enrolled in a qualifying program at the time. If not, the withdrawal of personal contributions may trigger repayment of recent years’ government assistance, according to a formula based on the timing of the original contributions.

Accumulated Income Payment (AIP)

This is a taxable payment made to you of any remaining income in the plan, generally only if the beneficiary will not be attending school. An extra 20% tax applies, which may be avoided by rolling the AIP amount into an RRSP (assuming you have at least that amount of contribution room in their RRSP and subject to a maximum transfer value of $50,000). The RESP must then be closed by the end of February in the year following the AIP.

To withdraw funds from a Qtrade RESP for non-educational use, please download and complete the RESP Capital Withdrawal Form.

Read more at the Government of Canada website.