This whole getting money out of an RESP has now turned into a money-making business for everyone (except me, of course). The excellent factor about the RESP program is money to get money, but unfortunately, Universities are trying to make their own money as well.
Both universities I am dealing with seem well prepared for me because on their websites are effectively the statement:
Dear Parent of our Student,
If you thought that extricating your money from an RESP was going to consist of us simply sending you a letter for free, or sending you an e-mail stating this, think again. We feel that sending out a letter to you that states that you have paid for your child’s education (no the bank won’t take our receipt from your payment, we all agreed that would be too easy) is something we should make some money on as well, so you will need to pay us $11.50 for this letter.
Please note: this is not an actual letter from any Canadian University, it is a paraphrase of the message sent, with much embelishment by me.
Do I sound bitter? If not, I need to take that creative writing class on how to write more bitterly.
Most of this money is after-tax money that will not be taxed if I withdraw it from the account (whether my child is at school or not) or thought about in any fashion, yet to extricate Dime One from this account, I must have this letter, which I must then go to a local bank branch (no this does not work over the phone, or online) and have them approve me taking the money out. Will there be a fee for my bank to approve this letter? Right now, I would not be surprised (but even more bitter? You Bet!) but I hope not.
I am displeased as punch about this whole thing, as you can tell. However, at least I know about it now, so I may get money out of this sometime before Thanksgiving (I hope). The other issue is I must get these documents from two separate universities (in different provinces), and I have not heard from my other daughter what fee her University will extricate from me to get at the RESP.
So when you think about the CESG that you get when you put your money in an RESP, remember to subtract this fee (a yearly thing I must do) from your “takings” in this Government Savings Plan.