Originally posted on Plan Institute – written as part of Plan Institute’s 20th Anniversary Celebrations highlighting many different memories, milestones, and accomplishments throughout the last two decades.
Throughout the past 20 years of our existence as an organization, we have taken on many projects and embarked upon many missions, all with the goal of ensuring that families in BC have the resources to plan a safe and secure future for their loved ones with disabilities.
Though each and every one of these projects has had significance, one of our current missions that is near and dear to our hearts is the Access RDSP partnership. Access RDSP is a partnership between Plan Institute, Disability Alliance BC and the British Columbia Aboriginal Network on Disability Society. This partnership is generously funded by the Vancouver Foundation and seeks to increase uptake of the Registered Disability Savings Plan (RDSP). For those who are unfamiliar with the RDSP, it is a Canada-wide registered matched savings plan specific for people with disabilities. It is designed as a long-term savings program to support better financial preparedness for the future.
Why is this project so important to us? As of 2017, only about 38.9% of eligible British Columbians have opened an RDSP. This means that 61.1% of people who may benefit from this fantastic financial opportunity are not yet doing so. This doesn’t include the number of people who may qualify for the RDSP and have not yet received their Disability Tax Credit.
But, why is the RDSP so fantastic? One reason is that when you open an RDSP, you become eligible for up to $90,000in government bonds and matching grants – yes, that’s up to $90,000 in free money from the Government of Canada! Considering this, the RDSP may provide one of the best returns on investment available.
One of the most common questions we have been asked when we tell people about this benefit of the RDSP is, “but what if I am unable to contribute anything to my RDSP – how would it grow or be of benefit to me?” For starters, if you qualify for the Canada Disability Savings Bond, you can receive up to $20,000 over your lifetime.
Moreover, in British Columbia, all children with an RDSP, as well as low-income adults are eligible for the Endowment 150 Grant – a free $150 grant to jumpstart savings in an RDSP. With the matching Canada Disability Savings Grant, this could be a total of $600 deposited into your account. Yes, again, that is free money for your RDSP that can accumulate interest over time and start you on the path to a secure financial future.
So far, through the Access RDSP partnership, we have distributed over $270,000 to families in British Columbia through the Endowment 150 Grant. Feedback received from Endowment 150 grantees includes:
“Thank you for the endowment grant of $150 for the RDSP for our son. We will deposit it into his account in a few days. Please express our thanks and appreciation to Plan Institute for this grant. It is very helpful to have some additional financial support. Our son’s potential contribution this year is $3250. That is a lot of money to come up with, this is most helpful.”
“I’m really happy about the E150. I don’t invest a lot of my own money [in the RDSP]. I thought it was cool and neat. Every little bit helps!”
Though we are proud of the impact this partnership has had so far, we are well aware that our work is not done. We continue to work together as we strive to increase the uptake of the RDSP and distribute more Endowment 150 Grants.
If you or someone you know may qualify for the RDSP or the Endowment 150 Grant, please call our Disability Planning Helpline anytime at 1-844-311-7526, email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.rdsp.com for more information!