There are rules about who can open an RDSP. It depends on the age of the beneficiary and other factors. The person who opens an RDSP is called the plan holder.
For a beneficiary under the age of majority:
Parents and guardians may open an RDSP for a child who qualifies. So can any other party legally authorized to act on behalf of the child. In Ontario, the age of majority is 18.
For a beneficiary over the age of majority:
If, by law, an adult is considered competent to enter an RDSP contract, they must:
- open their own RDSP and become the plan holder
- become the plan holder of an RDSP that anyone had opened for them before, except a parent.
If, by law, an adult is not considered competent to enter an RDSP contract, the following people may do so for them:
- parents and guardians
- any other party legally authorized to act on behalf of the person.
Note: Parents are not automatically legal representatives of adult sons and daughters. But, if the parents had opened a plan before, they may continue as plan holders. The beneficiary can become a joint holder.
More rules about plan holders
- A holder who is not the beneficiary of the plan does not have to be a resident of Canada. To be a resident, you must live in Canada at least two out of five years. You do not have to be a Canadian citizen to be a resident.
- Individual plan holders must have a valid Social Insurance Number.
- Agencies and other institutions must have a valid Business Number.
Tip: The plan holder of an RDSP can change at any time. It can change many times over the years that the plan is open. You can even have more than one plan holder for the same plan, if you wish.
Remember: Make sure you meet the criteria before you try to open an RDSP.
Almost anyone can contribute, with your permission. You can also have multiple plan holders. But the beneficiary can have only one RDSP at any given time.
Content in this section is provided in partnership with the Investor Education Fund, a non-profit organization promoting financial literacy to Canadians. To find out more go to GetSmarterAboutMoney.ca.