5 things you should know about withdrawing from your CST RESP

Education Assistance Payment 2020

Congratulations! You’ll have an official high school graduate in the family soon!

Good thing you made the smart decision to contribute to a Registered Education Savings Plan (RESP) to help finance the next phase of their education. Now comes the fun part: once your child has registered at a recognized post-secondary institution, you’ll be able to start withdrawing your funds. These funds consist of Education Assistance Payments (EAPs) and the principal (contributions less fees) that you’ve invested. You can use your funds towards tuition, books, rent, living expenses and more. This short video shows how easy it is to request payments. Before you get started, here are 5 things to know:

1. What exactly is an Education Assistance Payment?

An Education Assistance Payment (EAP) is the payment that is made to your child after they’ve officially enrolled in eligible post-secondary studies at an approved school. Each EAP consists of your government grants and the income earned on these grants and your share of the EAP account (pool of money distributed between students in the same beneficiary group). If you have a CST Advantage Plan, your EAP will also include the group plan benefits and the sales charge refund.

2. Once you have your Proof of Enrollment, you can apply for your CST EAP.  

While plans differ between providers, with CST you can apply for one EAP each year. If you have a CST RESP, submitting your request for an EAP is easy. Just click here.

3. You will need certain documents in order to withdraw an EAP. 

You will need to submit a completed RESP withdrawal form or EAP application form; this form will be provided by CST whenever you are ready. You will also need to provide a Proof of Enrolment form (POE) which is supplied to your student by the school.

4. There are limits to the amount of EAPs you can withdraw every year.

Maximum amounts are determined by the Income Tax Act (Canada), and these differ according to whether your student is pursuing full or part time studies.

Full time studies in Canada/outside of Canada

  • First 13 consecutive weeks: Withdraw up to $5,000
  • After this period: Withdraw up to $24,432

If there is a 12 month period during which the student is not enrolled in school, she/he is eligible to withdraw up to $5,000 again.

Part time studies in Canada

  • Each 13 week semester: Withdraw up to $2,500

5. EAP withdrawals are taxable.

Your student must include any EAPs received on their Income Tax return for the year in which these are received. A T4A will be issued at the end of the year in the name of your student. Luckily, since most students have little to no income, the income taxes owed for EAP withdrawals should be minimal.    

Now that your child is ready to move on to their post-secondary studies, you’re right at the finish line!  Your prize – all those savings you’ve patiently been accumulating – is waiting for you. 

If you have a CST RESP, we can help you get access to it. Just contact our CST Customer Experience Team at  1-877-333-7377 (Monday to Friday, 8:00 am to 8:00 pm ET) or via Live Chat (Monday to Friday, 9:00 am to 5:00 pm ET), or via email cstplan@cst.org