VICTORIA – As part of Accessibility 2024, Government has created a new action group to champion the Registered Disability Savings Plan (RDSP) to improve the financial security of people with disabilities.The RDSP Action Group is made up of prominent and influential leaders in B.C. who have demonstrated a commitment to promoting the benefits of RDSPs in their sectors and communities. The group will provide advice to government on how to increase awareness and participation in the RDSP program in B.C.
The RDSP is a long-term-savings plan designed by the Government of Canada to help people with disabilities and their families save money for the future. The federal government will match every $1 contributed to an RDSP with up to $3 in Canada Disability Savings Grants for eligible households. The maximum grant is $3,500 each year, with a lifetime limit of $70,000. Some low-income families may be eligible to receive a $1,000 Canada Savings Bond each year, up to $20,000. No personal contribution is required to receive the bond. The income inside the plan is allowed to grow tax-free until the money is withdrawn, with no restrictions on how it can be spent.
B.C. was the first province to support the RDSP. Part of this support included ensuring that people could open an RDSP and also keep their full income or disability assistance. People in B.C. have nearly 20% of all RDSPs in Canada.
In addition to creating the RDSP Action Group, government also proclaimed October as Registered Disability Savings Plan Awareness Month to help raise awareness among people with disabilities, their families and friends about the benefits of RDSPs as a tool to save for the future.
In support of RDSP Awareness Month, the Vancouver Foundation is expanding its Endowment 150 program criteria for income and disability recipients to include more children with disabilities in low-income families. The program provides one-time gifts of $150 to RDSPs to help people save.
Planned Lifetime Advocacy Network’s (PLAN) is also making it easier for people with disabilities, their family and friends to plan for the future with the release of Safe and Secure: 2014 Expanded RDSP Edition. This step-by-step guide for creating a personal future plan for people with disabilities includes updated information on the RDSP, housing, government benefits and programs, resources and more. PLAN has also launched a toll-free RDSP hotline: 1 844 311-PLAN or 1 844 311-7526 to help improve financial literacy for people with disabilities.
Accessibility 2024 is a 10-year action plan to make B.C. the most progressive place in Canada for people with disabilities. One of the key building blocks in the plan is financial security, with the goal of B.C. having the highest savings rate for people with disabilities in Canada by 2024.
Minister of Social Development and Social Innovation Don McRae –
“Government is committed to improving the well-being of people with disabilities and their families by helping them plan and save for the future. This new action group will help government make B.C. the most progressive jurisdiction for people with disabilities in Canada by increasing participation in the RDSP program.”
Federal Minister of State for Social Development Candice Bergen –
“Our Government introduced the Registered Disability Savings Plan, the first plan of its kind in the world, because we wanted to help families with children who have disabilities save for their future. Raising awareness about this important plan is crucial. I would like to congratulate British Columbia on the creation of this new action group led by Norah Flaherty, the sister of the late Federal Finance Minister Jim Flaherty who played a critical role in launching the RDSP in 2008.”
Planned Lifetime Advocacy Network Al Etmanski –
“The RDSP has proven effective in addressing the poverty of our sons and daughters with disabilities. I appreciate the B.C. Government’s commitment to make sure every British Columbian with a disability takes advantage of the generous financial benefits of the RDSP.”
RDSP Action Group chair Norah Flaherty –
“Canada is leading the way with the RDSP, the first tax-assisted savings plans in the world designed specifically to provide financial security for individuals living with disabilities. It’s wonderful to see all the collaborative work being done in B.C. to ensure that people are aware of the benefits of RDSPs and provided with the support they need to set one up.”
President and CEO Vancouver Foundation Kevin McCort –
“We’ve expanded the eligibility requirements for our Endowment 150 Program to ensure more families have the opportunity to plan and save for their loved one’s future. We encourage eligible low-income people with disabilities and their families to take advantage of the $150 gift towards an RDSP that is available through our program to help get them started on saving for the future.”
- There are almost 550,000 people in B.C. over the age of 15, who identify as having a disability — that’s almost 15%.
- There are about 90,000 people who have RDSPs in Canada.
- Who is eligible for the Canada RDSP program?
- People who are eligible for the Canada Disability Tax Credit
- People under the age of 60
- Canadian residents with a Social Insurance Number
For a list of the RDSP Action Group members, visit: http://ow.ly/CToa0
For more information about RDSPs, visit: www.disabilitysavings.gc.ca
For more information about Accessibility 2024, visit: http://ow.ly/ASEha
For information about PLAN and RDSPs, visit: http://plan.ca/
For information about PLAN’s “Safe and Secure: 2014 Expanded RDSP Edition” book, visit: http://plan.ca/safe-secure/
Safe and Secure: RDSP Edition is available free of charge and can be ordered online at: http://ow.ly/CAAEm
Call the PLAN toll free RDSP hotline at 1 844 311-PLAN or 1 844 311-7526
For more information about the Vancouver Foundation Endowment 150 Program, visit: http://endowment150.ca/
Ministry of Social Development and Social