A new guide to the Registered Disability Savings Plan (RDSP) was released today by the RDSP Action Group, made up of leaders from the financial and disability communities, to help more British Columbians with disabilities and their families benefit from the financial savings tool.
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 new guide, How to Start and Manage an RDSP in British Columbia, outlines key steps to setting up an RDSP, like applying for the Disability Tax Credit. It also shares stories and advice from British Columbians about the impact of an RDSP on their lives.
The number of British Columbians with disabilities who have set up an RDSP is growing. More than 20,000 have an RDSP and in the past year the total value of RDSPs in B.C. grew by almost $100 million to $415 million. Currently, 11% of all persons with disabilities under 50 in B.C. have an RDSP, higher than any other province. Yet it is estimated that 60,000 more British Columbians with disabilities could benefit from opening an RDSP.
The B.C. government proclaimed this October as the second annual RDSP Awareness Month to promote uptake of RDSP in B.C. 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 –
“As someone with an RDSP, I know how important this savings tool is for people with disabilities and their families. The new guide shares advice that will make it easier to set up an RDSP, as well as personal stories about the impact of RDSPs on the lives of British Columbians with disabilities. Resources like this will help more people benefit from RDSPs in B.C.”
Linda Larson, Parliamentary Secretary for Accessibility –
“Opening an RDSP today can result in a much larger savings account tomorrow. This important financial tool gives British Columbians living with a disability the opportunity to gain greater financial security and independence later in life. I hope the stories shared today and in the RDSP Guide will encourage more British Columbians with disabilities to set up their own RDSP.”
Norah Flaherty, chair, RDSP Action Group –
“The federal government introduced the RDSP to help people with disabilities save for the future. But the RDSP is more than just a savings account. It gives people with disabilities the power to dream. The power to set life goals and save the money they might need to achieve them. Today we heard from members of the disability community, as well as RDSP Action Group, about the power of RDSPs to change the lives of people with disabilities.”
Sam Turcott, RDSP holder and tax program manager, Disability Alliance BC –
“I opened my RDSP this summer and it is already growing significantly. Even small contributions can help provide money for the future. I encourage people to find out more about them so they too can benefit.”
- There are nearly 550,000 British Columbians who self-identify as having a disability.
- Canada introduced the world’s first RDSP program in 2008.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
View the new RDSP Guide: http://www.sdsi.gov.bc.ca/publicat/pdf/rdsp.pdf
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 or Accessibility 2024, visit: ow.ly/R4ovQ
View a list of cross-government services for people with disabilities in B.C.: http://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/topic.page?id=CBD8D48F126A462FBF1DE597318DE5AE