How to manage your Family Group Plan
The Family Group Plan is designed for four years of post-secondary education and is a good choice for those who value consistency and commitment. As a group plan, your income is shared with other customers with the same maturity year. If you want to increase or decrease your goal or alter the timing of your contributions, adjustments can be made to the number of units you hold in your plan.
Your Savings Goal
When you started your Family Group Plan, you would have established a savings goal that made sense for you and follows a specific contribution schedule for the life of your plan. This goal is based on a number of units that you intend to have when your plan reaches maturity. Your contributions correspond to units, as the number of units you will have in your plan depends on how much you contribute, how often you contribute, and how many years you invest in your plan. The sales charge for your plan is calculated based on how many units you have in your plan.
With the Family Group Plan, you choose between one-time, monthly or annual contributions. In total, there are eight options for making contributions. The contribution schedule has been designed so that all of the options are expected to generate approximately the same amount of income per unit by each plan’s maturity date, when it is pooled with the income from all other plans in the same beneficiary group. You can change your contribution option at any time, but you may have to make an income adjustment to make sure that, on your plan’s maturity date, the income per unit in your plan is the same as the income per unit in the other plans in your beneficiary group.
If you would like to make changes to the contribution schedule of your Family Group Plan, speak with your Knowledge First Financial sales representative or contact our Customer Service Team to understand the best option to protect your savings.
Reviewing your Family Group Plan
Your Family Group Plan is an investment in your child’s future. Like any financial plan, it’s a good idea to revisit your goal once a year. A good time to do this is when you receive your annual statement of account, which includes the balances for each component of your plan, your transaction details and the status of your government grant applications. Your statement is based on a calendar year of January to December. The Statement of Account includes an illustration of potential funds available and is great tool to see how you are progressing towards your education savings goal.
How to Read Your Family Group Plan Statement (PDF)
2014 Subscriber Vote Changes
In February 2014, customers of the Family Group Plan approved changes that will make it easier for customers and students to receive benefits from the Plan.
- Qualifying for Education Assistance Payments (EAPs): Customers approved changes to the qualification rules that need to be met by a student in order to receive EAPs from the Plan income pool to make it easier to qualify for an EAP. This includes all programs under the Income Tax guidelines, including part-time studies and repeat years of study effective for plans with a year of eligibility of 2015 or thereafter.
- EAP Annual Request Deadline: Customers approved extending the EAP request deadline from August 1st to the new deadline of November 1st.
- Fewer Discontinued Plans: Customers approved changes to the rules under which the Plan Manager can discontinue a plan. Rather than discontinuing a plan at the maturity date if two or more contributions have been missed and not made up under the plan’s contribution schedule, the Manager will automatically reduce the number of active units in the plan at the plan’s maturity date. The student will then be eligible for EAPs based on the revised units in their plan, rather than having their plan discontinued.
- Remove Automatic Return of Principal: Customers approved the removal of the “automatic” return of principal deposits two years following maturity date from the Plan, if government grants are in the RESP. This is to avoid having to return the government grants that have been collected for the student to the appropriate provincial or federal government before the student has had an opportunity to receive them with their EAPs.
For updates on changes to the Family Group plan, see our Notice of Plan Changes
Transfer Option to the Family Single Student Plan
While a Family Group Plan may have been the right choice when you started your RESP, circumstances may change as you approach maturity. You can transfer to our Family Single Student Plan as long as you do so before your Family Group Plan matures or before December 31st of the year your student turns 19, whichever comes first. The Family Group plan requires four years of post-secondary education to receive all Education Assistance Payments (EAPs) whereas Family Single Student, as an individual plan, provides more choice in amounts and timing of EAPs. Family Single Student is a smart transfer option to consider if your child is unsure of their education plan.
Learn more about the Family Single Student Plan
Keep us in the know
Let us know about important changes in your life – like starting a new job or moving into a new home. Keeping us informed will help us find ways to make sure you’re getting the most out of your RESP. To update your account information, contact our Customer Service team or complete and send us a Customer Update Form.