Remember: A Holder is the person who manages the plan, makes decisions around investments and payment options.

You are probably the Holder if you are an adult and you have ‘contractual competence’. You can still have someone to assist you in opening your RDSP and making financial decisions.

What is contractual competence?

The financial institution needs to know that you are able to manage your own financial affairs. If they don’t think you can, they may question your ability to be the Holder and request that you have a legal representative to open and manage the RDSP on your behalf.

A Note to Families & Friends

  • For a child, the Holder must be a parent or guardian. Parents can remain Holders of the plan, even when the person becomes an adult, but can also pass the holdership over or become joint Holders.
  • Guardians of children are no longer Holders on the RDSP when a child becomes an adult.
  • For an adult that does not have contractual competency, the federal government will allow parents, spouses and common-law partners of a beneficiary to become plan Holders between June 29, 2012 and December 31, 2016. If this happens before 2017, the family member can remain the Holder for life. (This option will not apply for an RDSP that has already been established or where an individual already has a legal representative.)
  • Note that Budget 2015 proposes to extend the above temporary measure to apply to the end of 2018. The rules will not otherwise be changed and a qualifying family member who becomes a plan holder before 2019 can remain the plan holder for life.
  • An adult that does not have contractual competency may also have an adult guardian (or representation through a representation agreement in BC only) to open and manage the RDSP. Adult guardians have different legal names in each province but include adult guardian, power of attorney, tutor, trustee, curator and committee.
  • An Adult that does have contractual competency can appoint a Power of Attorney or representative (in BC) to manage their financial affairs.
  • For more information on legal representation options, PLAN sometimes offers courses on Supported Decision Making.