RDSP: Open, transfer or rollover

A Registered Disability Savings Plan (RDSP) helps save for the long-term financial security of a person with a disability. After opening an RDSP, you may be eligible for a Grant or Bond.

Open an RDSP

To open an RDSP, you need to follow these three steps:

Step 1: Identify the beneficiary of the RDSP

The beneficiary is the person who will receive the money in the future. The beneficiary must:

  • be under 60 years of age (if you are 59, you must apply before the end of the calendar year in which you turned 59);
  • be a Canadian resident;
  • be eligible for the Disability Tax Credit (disability amount); and
  • have a Social Insurance Number (SIN)

There can only be one beneficiary per RDSP and only one RDSP per beneficiary.

Step 2: Identify the RDSP holder

The holder of the RDSP is the person or organization that opens and manages the RDSP.

  • For beneficiaries under the age of majority, the holder can be a legal parent, legal representative or public department.

    Note: To open an RDSP, both the beneficiary and the holder of the plan will need to provide their SIN. Find out how to get a SIN.

  • For beneficiaries over the age of majority, the holder is generally the beneficiary. In certain circumstances, a guardian, legal representative or public department may be eligible to become the holder.

    Note: Until the end of 2016, if an adult beneficiary cannot open an RDSP due to concerns about his/her ability to enter into a contract and he/she does not have a legal representative, certain family members can become the plan holder and open an RDSP on his or her behalf. A qualifying family member could be a beneficiary's spouse, common-law partner or parent. If this applies to your family, contact a participating financial organization. For more information, visit Opening an RDSP or call 1-800-959-8281 (TTY users call 1-800-665-0354).

Note: The age of majority varies across provinces and territories.

Step 3: Open your RDSP

To apply for the Registered Disability Savings Plan, contact a participating financial organization.

Beneficiary's Family Income

Calculation of the beneficiary's family income depends on the beneficiary's age.

  • Age 18 and under

    From birth to December 31 of the year the beneficiary turns 18, the beneficiary's family income is based on the income information used to determine the Canada Child Tax Benefit (CCTB) for that beneficiary. To determine the amount of the Grant and the Bond to be paid in that year, income information from the January Eligible Individual is used.

    The January Eligible Individual is either:

    • the person (usually a parent) who is eligible for the CCTB payments in the month of January (or the first payment in the year of the request); or
    • the department, agency or institution that receives the allowance payable under the Children's Special Allowance Act.

    To provide this income information, the individual who is receiving the CCTB in January of the specified year (January Eligible Individual) must complete Part C of the application form for the Grant and the Bond and give his or her Social Insurance Number (SIN) (see Forms).

    If the beneficiary is under the care of a department, agency, or institution for at least one month in the year, the department, agency, or institution that receives the allowance payable under the Children's Special Allowances Act (January Eligible Individual) must complete Part C of the application form for the Grant and the Bond, and provide the business number (see Forms).

  • Age 19 until RDSP closure

    Beginning the year the beneficiary turns 19 until the RDSP is closed, the beneficiary's family income is based on his or her income plus his or her spouse's income.

    To qualify for the Bond and to earn a matching grant of $3 or $2 for every $1 contributed, the beneficiary must file income tax returns for the past two years and all future taxation years when he or she has an RDSP.

Financial Organizations

The following financial organizations offer the RDSP, the Grant and the Bond:

Transfer an RDSP to another financial organization

You can transfer an existing Registered Disability Savings Plan (RDSP) to a different participating financial organization by completing the necessary documents. Because a beneficiary cannot have more than one RDSP, a transfer request must be completed to move a plan from one financial organization to another. The transfer must be for the full amount existing in the plan. Partial amounts cannot be transferred. The holder of the plan must initiate the transfer and have the required form completed by both financial organizations.

To request the transfer of an RDSP from one financial organization to another or to revoke a request for payments of the Grant and/or the Bond, complete the following forms:

Note: Financial organizations may have certain conditions and fees associated with transferring an RDSP. Please contact your financial organization for more information regarding the transfer of an RDSP.

Rollover of retirement funds into an RDSP

Parents or grandparents of a financially dependent child or grandchild with a disability can arrange for some or all of their retirement savings to be transferred (tax-free) to their Registered Disability Savings Plan (RDSP) when they pass away

To be eligible for this measure, retirement savings must be in one of the following:

  • Registered Retirement Savings Plan (RRSP);
  • Registered Retirement Savings Plan (RRIF); or
  • Registered Pension Plan (RPP).

The maximum transfer amount is $200,000; this amount will be reduced by all contributions and rollover transfers that have previously been made to any RDSP.

The amount of money transferred into an RDSP will form part of the $200,000 lifetime contribution limit. For example, if there is already $50,000 in private contributions in an RDSP, the amount rolled over from an RRSP, RRIF and RPP cannot exceed $150,000.

The Government will not pay a matching grant on the money transferred.

For more information on transferring retirement or education savings to an RDSP, see RDSP limits and transfers or call 1-800-959-8281 (TTY users call 1-800-665-0354).