QESI – Quebec RESP Grants For Educational Saving

by Mike Holman

I’ve written extensively about RESP accounts which are educational savings accounts available to all Canadians.  Quebec has decided to do one better and offers a special Quebec educational savings grant which is available on top of the normal federal RESP CESG grants.


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The grants work in a similar fashion to the federal RESP grants except they are half as much.  This means that the RESP is that more valuable to a Quebec resident since the basic grant will be 30% of contributions instead of the 20% that residents of all the other provinces get.

Both federal RESP grants and QESI grants are paid in the same account so any contributions discussed below refer to your normal RESP contributions.  You don’t have to set up separate accounts or have separate contributions.

Here are the QESI Quebec RESP grant rules

  • The grant amount per year is 10% of the first $2500 contributed per beneficiary.
  • Max $250 grants credit per tax year per beneficiary
  • The lifetime maximum grant amount per beneficiary is $3600.
  • There is a $250 grant carry forward (as of 2008) so you can actually contribute $5000 and get $500 QESI grant if you have enough room.

Timing of QESI grant payments

QESI grant payments only get paid once a year.  If you make any contributions in a calendar year, your financial institution will send that contribution information to the government by the end of March of the following year.  The financial institution should receive the grant money within 90 days and will deposit the grant into your account.

Keep in mind that even if the institution sends the information earlier in the year (ie January) – that won’t necessarily speed up the process.  The QESI process is new, so it is very possible that there will be delays both on the government side and the financial institution side.

This means there can be a long time between the contribution and grant.

For example if someone contributes $1,000 to a Quebec RESP in April of 2012, their financial institution will send that information in March of 2013 and will put the grant in the account up to 90 days later which will be in June of 2013.  So if you contribute early in a  calendar year, it’s possible that the grant won’t be paid for up to 18 months later.

Supplemental increase for lower income families

If the net family income is $42,707 or less, then extra grants of 10% of net contributions will be paid up to a maximum of $50 per beneficiary per tax year.
If your net family income is between $42,707 and $85,414 then you will get extra grants of 5% of net contributions up to a maximum of $25 per beneficiary per tax year .

The supplemental QESI grant is payable only to an RESP that is either an individual plan or a family plan where all the beneficiaries are siblings.

Grant room or accumulated rights (as the Quebec government likes to call them)

Every eligible child begins to receive QESI room at birth, or on Feb. 21, 2007, whichever is later.

The Quebec government has termed grant room for the QESI basic amount as “accumulated rights”.  I think something got lost in the translation of those terms.  :)

These grant rights accumulate at a rate of $250 per year.

As of 2008, any QESI rights accumulated during previous years can be added to the basic amount up to a maximum of $500 a year.

The supplementary QESI credit cannot be carried forward if not used.  The carry forward only applies to the basic QESI grant.

Eligibility for QESI grants

Basically the same as federal government CESG.

Beneficiary Eligibility Critieria

Every child up to and including age 17 is eligible to receive the QESI grant, provided the child:

  • is a Quebec resident as of Dec. 31st of the taxation year being applied for;
  • has a valid social insurance number (SIN);
  • is named as a beneficiary to an RESP where the QESI is offered;
  • meets the CESG 16/17 year-old rules;
  • has a contribution made to an RESP in their name; and
    has available grant room.

You shouldn’t need to apply for this grant – the financial institution should do it for you.  It should be noted (as Steph pointed out in the comments) that not all financial institutions offer this grant.   It is important for you to research which ones do before opening up an account.

Here is the link to the Revenu Quebec page that lists the companies that are or that will eventually become compliant:


Make sure to ask at which step of the process they are… (already compliant or in the process of) before, so that you won’t be disappointed in the end !

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{ 15 comments… read them below or add one }

1 steph

Great post, the sad news about this program is that not all financial institutions are on-board… Royal Bank is finally compliant and the grants are coming soon (refer to a good article on the subject, in French only at http://lapresseaffaires.cyberpresse.ca/opinions/chroniques/michel-girard/201003/30/01-4265587-du-reee-quebecois-a-la-rbc.php)… The financial institutions have until the end of this year (I think ! or is it next year !) to comply and if they don’t, then customers will be able to switch to a compliant financial institution to get the grant.

I’m with BMO Mutual Funds and the last news they gave me was that they were going to be ready for the QESI by year end.

Can’t wait, it’s nice to get something useful, especially after the Quebec budget we just got !!!

2 Mike

Thanks for the info Steph – I added it to the post that not all companies offer this grant.

Legally none of the companies have to offer this grant – they will do it for competitive reasons. I can see how companies that don’t have a large presence in Quebec might think twice about offering this.

3 steph

Hi again,
here is the link to the Revenu Quebec page that lists the companies that are or that will eventually become compliant…


(TD is not part of this list…)
Make sure to ask at which step of the process they are… (already compliant or in the process of) before, so that you won’t be disappointed in the end !

4 Cheryl

It’s not that easy. If you withdraw more than you deposited you will not get the retro-QESI.

5 Ralph Hadaya

Good day, if I am already contibuting to an RESP and getting the grants from the fed gov, should I apply for Quebec or I will receive it automatically?
Thank You

6 Steph

Hi Ralph,

no need to apply, the institution you are with will request it for you. (ref: http://www.revenu.gouv.qc.ca/en/citoyen/credits/credits/iqee/comment_demander.aspx)
Then, you will receive it when they are set up correctly…. to see if your institution is on the list, refer to http://www.revenu.gouv.qc.ca/en/citoyen/credits/credits/iqee/fournisseurs_reee.aspx

In the case of Bank of Montreal, I was told that they will start providing this grant in the first three months of 2011.

7 Annoyed

Yeah very disappointing about TD Investor Line services not being on the list. Seems every other bank is there except them. TD Waterhouse is there, but they charge $50/year admin fee. Not sure if I would go through the trouble of moving my existing account to Waterhouse for a net benefit of 200./year. I’ve called TD and complained, and called QESI. No useful timelines unfortunately.

8 Phil

Thanks for infos. I would like to expose my problem with the QESI @ Questrade. Maube I am not alone with this issue. In February 2011, I deposited more than $5000 in my RESP. My child is born in 2010, so I was eligible to receive $1000,00 in CESG (500*2). and $500,00 from Quebec government (250*2) in QESI. I received the $1000,00 on May 31st 2011 but not the QUESI. I asked Questrade when I will receive the amount. They told me in a couple of months. Another time, they said: In the middle of the year 2012. I asked if they could be more specific. I asked on a regular basis and they refered me to Revenu Quebec. When I asked the question to Revenu Quebec, they refered me to Questrade! The last time I asked Questrade (two weeks ago) when I should receive the amount, they told me I should receive CESG + QESI in June 2012. I was a bit confuse because when I spoke with the person at Revenu Quebec, I was on the impression that Revenu Quebec was following CESG. I mean Revenu Quebec wait the end of a particular year to make the deposit in the following year. In my example, I was thinking they will wait the end of 2011 and to deposit the incentive based on the CESG received in 2011 (10% of my contribution up to 2500, which is 250*2 because my children is born in 2010). I know well rules of RESP (I read your book. It helps!) but I need some explanations about the way Questrade works about QESI deposits. Is it so long with other brokers like TD Waterhouse for example ? I dont’t know what to to, I lost confidence. Should I transfer to another broker OR they do the same ? Thanks

9 Mike Holman

@Phil – I’m not sure of the exact timing of QESI grants at Questrade or any other brokers. I know they are administered completely separate from CESG, and it’s a relatively new program, so delays shouldn’t be surprising.

That said, you’ve been waiting a long time for it.

I’ll try to find out more info.

10 Steph

QESI is definitely separate from CESG… Let me give you an example with my institution, BMO Investments: CESG grant is now paid out monthly, while the QESI grant is paid once a year. My 2011 QESI grant was just deposited on May 23 2012 (last week, just got the transaction confirmation)… I think you need to be a bit more patient and you should get it… transferring out of one institution to move into another seems like quite a hassle and you may end up in more trouble than you wished…

11 Phil

@Steph – Thanks for your advice. I’m still with Questrade right now but no sign that I will receive the QESI grant “by the end of June 2012″ like they told me. I will wait until next Friday and contact them next week. The worst: I know that I will hear another story from the CSR like: You should receive it soon…bla bla bla.

It’s not a big amount: $500,00 but I have the right to receive, I want it and I think I was enough patient.

12 Roxanne

I am trying to figure all this out. Is there a way to get a Qesi statement???

And I can I back track for the extra grant??

Thank you

13 Phil

20130-01-17 update
Hi Mike,
This is to let you know that I FINALLY received the 2011 QESI grant(2*250=$500) in my Questrade account on December 31st 2012. At first, Revenu Quebec told me that usually, the grant should be credited in the first 90 days in the civil year following the year of contribution (until March 31st 2012). So in my situation, I received it 9 months later than the end of the usual period…with no interests of course! Revenu Quebec don’t proceed the same way when you sent your tax reports after April 30th and you owe them money ;-). After discussions with both Questrade and Revenu Quebec, my analysis in that the problem is mainly coming from Revenu Quebec. I look forward to see when I will receive the QESI for my 2012 contribution. Before March 31st 2013 ? I have big doubt about that. A file to follow…

14 naim

Hi Phil.

I have Questrade RESP, opened in 2010 and I have been calling Questrade every 6 months since 2010. I called today on February 25 2013 and was told one again that Questrade does not participate in the QESI grant. I’m completely exasperated ! Would be so kind as let me know who you’ve been speaking to at Questrade.

Regards Naim.

Regards Naim.

15 Phil

Hi Naim,

I opened my account in January 2011 and I received my 2011’s QESI on December 31st 2012. I dont’k know when Questrade received it’s accreditation for the QESI grant but in your case my theory is: Maybe they received it after 2010 so maybe when you opened your account in 2010 you were not registered ? Anyway, I confirm to you that Questrade do participate in the QESI grant. You’ll find attached the hyperlink about that fact.


My contact at Questrade was Mamadou.

Regards Phil

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