More than 20,000 British Columbians with disabilities have set up a Registered Disability Savings Plan (RDSP) to help them save for the future.
Savings that could help them live independently later in life, buy a house or pay for future medical expenses.
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 matches every $1 contributed to an RDSP with up to $3 in Canada Disability Savings Grants for eligible households.
The B.C. government proclaimed this October as the second annual RDSP Awareness Month to promote uptake of the RDSP in B.C. It’s part of government’s commitment to have the highest savings rate for people with disabilities in Canada by 2024.
B.C. was the first province to sign on to support RDSPs when they were created in 2008, which included ensuring that money held in or paid out of an RDSP does not affect people’s income or disability assistance.
The total value of RDSPs in B.C. grew by almost $100 million in the past year to $415 million. British Columbians have personally contributed $148 million to their RDSPs, leveraging an additional $281 million in federal grants and bonds. Currently, 11% of all persons with disabilities under 50 in B.C. have an RDSP, higher than any other province.
The provincial government is working with leaders in the financial and disability community to promote the uptake of RDSPs through an RDSP Action Group. The group will be sharing resources and hosting RDSP awareness events throughout October.
Financial security is one of the commitments in Accessibility 2024, a 10-year action plan to make B.C. the most progressive place in Canada for people with disabilities.
Michelle Stilwell, Minister of Social Development and Social Innovation –
“British Columbians with a disability and their families can increase their future financial security by opening an RDSP. Whatever the savings goal, RDSPs are an important financial tool that can help transform lives. As part of our Accessibility 2024 commitment, government will continue to champion the uptake of RDSPs in B.C.”
Linda Larson, Parliamentary Secretary for Accessibility –
“Financial security is a commitment in Accessibility 2024 and this October we’re working to raise awareness of RDSPs. With the federal government’s matching contribution, the RDSP is an important financial tool to help people with disabilities save for later in life.”
Norah Flaherty, chair, RDSP Action Group –
“There is a lot to celebrate about the uptake of RDSPs in Canada, but there is also more work to be done. RDSPs can help a person on low-income receiving disability assistance live comfortably later in life, or give parents the peace of mind to know their child with a disability will be financially independent. The Action Group aims to raise awareness about the resources and supports available to help people with disabilities and their families set up an RDSP.”
- There are nearly 550,000 British Columbians that self-identify as having a disability.
- Canada introduced the world’s first RDSP program in 2008.
- Who is eligible for the Canada RDSP program?
- People who are eligible for the Canada Disability Tax Credit;
- People under the age of 60; and
- Canadian residents with a Social Insurance Number.
- 2,800 British Columbians set up an RDSP between June 2014 and June 2015.
- In 2014, British Columbians held almost 20% of all RDSPs in Canada, yet made up only 14% of Canadians under 50 with a disability. It’s estimated only one quarter of British Columbians under 50 and eligible for the disability tax credit have opened an RDSP. Another 60,000 in this age group could benefit from opening an RDSP.
- The average value of an RDSP in B.C. in June 2015 was $20,706, above the national average of $19,703.
- The total value of all RDSPs increased by $97.7 million in B.C. over the last year, and $559.4 million for all of Canada.
View the proclamation at: http://bclaws.ca/civix/document/id/oic/OIC_CUR/RegDisSavPlnAwareMnth2015
For more information on RDSPs: http://www.rdsp.com/
The Government of Canada RDSP information page: http://www.cra-arc.gc.ca/rdsp/
For more information on the RDSP Action Group: http://www.sdsi.gov.bc.ca/pwd/rdsp/index.html
For more information on Accessibility 2024: www.gov.bc.ca/accessibility
To view the One Year Progress Report on Accessibility 2024 visit: http://www2.gov.bc.ca/assets/gov/government/about-the-bc-government/accessible-bc/accessibility-2024/docs/accessibility2024-1-year-progress.pdf
View a list of cross-government services for people with disabilities in B.C.: http://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/topic.page?id=CBD8D48F126A462FBF1DE597318DE5AE