BCTESG: BC Training and Education Savings Grant (How to Apply)

The BCTESG is a fantastic incentive for British Columbian parents to invest in their children’s post-secondary education. Although it will be a few years before we apply for the BCTESG (BC Training and Educations Savings Grant), I am already looking forward to it.

We received a form to apply for the BCTESG when we first opened up the RESP and I have it somewhere safe for when the time comes to apply for free government money. It was part of our financial checklist for new parents in Canada.

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What is the BCTESG?

The BC Training and Education Savings Grant (also known as the BCTESG for short) is a one time $1200 grant provided by the BC government with the hopes of encouraging BC parents to start saving early for their children’s post-secondary education.

It’s colloquially known as the BC RESP grant.

It is available for children born after January 1, 2006.

The BCTESG is not taxable, and once deposited into the RESP, the money grows tax free.

There are no strings attached (you don’t have to match the amount, you don’t have to jump through hoops except to apply), but you don’t get the 20% matching CESG grant from this deposit.

The BCTESG contribution does not count towards the $50,000 lifetime contribution limit for the RESP.

The BCTESG is on top of any Canada Child Tax Benefit payments you get.

What is an RESP?

Okay, let’s backtrack here and go over what the definition of RESP is.

An RESP is a registered account to help you save for your child’s post-secondary education. The money that is deposited in the RESP grows tax-free until withdrawn. 

RESPs can be left open for up to 36 years and can be used by beneficiaries to pay for tuition for full-time or part-time studies in qualifying post-secondary programs.

The lifetime contribution limit is $50,000 per child and the Canada Education Savings Grant (CESG) matches 20% of your contributions, up to $7200 per RESP.

Here’s the the ultimate RESP guide and how they work (all you need to know in a simple explanation) if you’re curious.

BCTESG Eligibility

To be eligible for the BCTESG, your child must born after January 1, 2006 and must be a resident of British Columbia. You as the parent or guardian also has to be a resident of British Columbia.

Your child will need to have a Social Insurance Number to be eligible.

The application timelines for children born in 2006, 2007, 2008, and 2009 are different than the 6 and 9 year birthdays.

Proof of residency of the parent or guardian (subscriber) is required, accepted forms include:

  • British Columbia driver’s license
  • BCID card with a picture
  • British Columbia Services Card
  • A utilities bill within the past 3 months showing current address in BC of the custodial parent, such as BC Hydro, Fortis, phone, Internet, Cable, or water bill

Also, the RESP must be an individual (non-family) plan or a family plan in which all beneficiaries within the family plan are siblings.

Related: Family vs Individual RESP: Which One is Better?

Also, the first day of eligibility for the BC Training Grant is the day your child turns six years old (what a great birthday present, $1200 in cash for post-secondary education!).

Also, you have to fill out a BCTESG form and there are specific BCTESG providers (not every financial institution supports this).

You don’t have to contribute any money towards a newly opened RESP in order to receive BCTESG.

Deadline for the BCTESG

There is a three year window to collect your $1200 from the BC government.

You have from the first day of your child’s 6th birthday to the last day that your child is nine years old.

Once your child turns nine, the $1200 money waiting for your child, will go poof, just like Cinderella when the clock strikes 12.

So you should act fast! (Or at least put a reminder on your phone when your child turns 6)

Related: Working During Maternity Leave in Canada- What Happens

BCTESG Providers

How are the BCTESG providers?

There are 56 financial institution providers that support the BC Education and Trainings Savings Grant.

Some of the Group, Pooled, and Scholarship RESP providers support the grant (for example, Heritage Education Foundation, Children’s Education Fund Inc.) but I wouldn’t recommend you open a Group RESP just to get the grant.

Even though Questrade is a great RESP option because of the low fees, DIY option, and ability to complete self manage your child’s portfolio, unfortunately, Questrade is not a BCTESG provider.

If you already have a Questrade RESP, you will have to open up another RESP from another provider in order to get the $1200 BCTESG funds.

Wealthsimple, another popular RESP robo advisor option for millennials because of the low fees and hands off approach is a BCTESG provider.

Another popular RESP provider is TD Bank and the TD e-series funds. There is one downside to having TD e-series funds though.

Our children have their Family RESP with TD Waterhouse/ TD Direct Investing where we have a portion of their RESP with TD e-series funds. TD Waterhouse is a BCTESG provider as well as a QESI, SAGES (Saskatchewan Grant) provider.

Related: TD e-series vs ETF: Which One is Better?

If we were to strictly have TD e-series funds though (which is TD Asset Management and not TD Direct Investing), we would likely have the runaround of being able to have the BCTESG grant deposited and used only in a GIC, which would not be an ideal way to invest $1200 over a decade. People who just have mutual fund accounts with TD Bank will have to open up a separate RESP account just to house the $1200 BCTESG deposit.

Here’s a RFD forum post for more information.

If you open up an RESP with the other big banks like Royal Bank of Canada, Scotia, CIBC or Bank of Montreal, there is no issue with this.

Step-By-Step on How to Get the BCTESG Grant

Okay, now that you know what the BCTESG is, here’s how to get your $1200 in free BC government money.

  • Check to see if your child is eligible for the BCTESG
  • If you have an individual or family RESP open already, check to see if the RESP provider you have offers the BCTESG. That list of 56 RESP promoters is here.
  • If you do not have an RESP for your child, go to the list of 56 RESP promoters and choose one that offers the RESP and the BCTESG. Apply for the RESP.
  • Ask them for the BCTESG application form Annex D Application: British Columbia Training and Education Savings Grant (though as of 2015, it is included in the main Canada Education Savings Plan (CESP) package/ RESP Canada Learning Bond package from your RESP promoter).
  • You may have filled it out already when you applied for the RESP but just haven’t signed it yet.
  • Include your child’s SIN and include the spelling of your child’s name as it appears on your child’s SIN documentation.
  • Provide documentation as required of your proof of residency in BC
  • A signature must be included in the application.
  • Some RESP promoters that also offer the BCTESG are:
    • Wealthsimple
    • CI Direct Investing (formerly WealthBar)
    • Justwealth (they also offer a Target Date RESP)
    • TD Direct Investing (as opposed to TD Mutual Funds which force you to open up an separate RESP to put in the $1200 as a GIC) or TD Securities
    • RBC
    • BMO
    • Scotiabank
    • As mentioned, there is no Questrade BCTESG unfortunately
  • The RESP provider that you choose will apply for the BCTESG on your behalf.
  • Wait for your $1200 BCTESG monies to be deposited and invest it for the next 8 to 11 years.
  • Repeat for your other child(ren) on their 6th birthday

How long does it take for the BCTESG to deposit to your account? In my experience, the BCTESG $1200 deposit took about 6 to 8 weeks to arrive in our TD Direct Investing account. It took longer than the CESG grant to land in our account.

Hope that help make the process of getting your BCTESG money for your child a little easier so you can fight back against the Motherhood Penalty.

Although the $1200 goes straight into the RESP and not in a children’s savings account, it’s still nice to save money (and grow that money tax free) for post secondary education.

Basically what we are doing is that we are applying for the BCTESG right when our first child turns six, and also will celebrate by collecting free birthday freebies for kids.

The BCTESG is an RESP BC specific grant for children who turn 6.

You may also be interested in:

How was the process of filling out the BCTESG form for you?

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4 thoughts on “BCTESG: BC Training and Education Savings Grant (How to Apply)”

  1. Great to know thanks.
    Can another relative eg. Grandparent open an resp for their grandchild and also apply for the bcteg if the parents have not bothered to utilize these awesome contributions that are available to Canadians. Thanks for your posts they are insightful and very “valuable” indeed. (Pun intended:)
    Beth

    Reply
    • @Beth- Yes, grandparents should be able to open and apply for the BCTESG for the child’s RESP but if you are not the legal guardian, you will be required to obtain this information (e.g. eligibility info) from one custodial parent/legal guardian who is a resident of BC, and their signature on the application form. Glad you find them helpful!

      Reply
  2. Just found about Questrade not offering BCTESG a couple of months ago as I was trying to sign up for it. I wound up creating a Wealthsimple account to get it. The signups was pretty easy but it took a little over a month to get the grant in the account (in fact I literally just checked for this 10 min before reading this).

    Reply

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