Chilliwack financial advisor Terry Brown (left), Barb Van Santen and just some of her many foster kids. Brown helped Van Santen get the $1,200 BC Training and Education Savings Grant for eight children last year and he’s campaigning for all parents to sign up. (Paul Henderson/The Progress file)

B.C. parents still missing out on hundreds of thousands in free money

Chilliwack financial advisor still banging the drum over unclaimed $1,200 RESP grant cash

Terry Brown has been screaming from the rooftops for months about free money that B.C. parents continue to leave on the table.

And yet still thousands and thousands aren’t listening.

“It’s a real head-scratcher,” the Chilliwack financial advisor said this week.

Brown’s message is about the free $1,200 B.C. Training and Education Savings Grant. All parents have to do is open an Registered Education Savings Plan at a financial institution, which is free, then apply for the grant through the bank or credit union. There is no requirement to match the government grant or continue to contribute.

“The ‘trick that isn’t a trick’, as I like to call it, is to open an empty RESP account just to collect your child’s provincial and federal grants,” Brown said.

“Many RESP providers allow this, but it seems that half of B.C. parents still don’t know.”

Despite his efforts to promote the grant on social media and in person to anyone who will listen, take-up is still not great.

About 47,000 kids are born every year in B.C., yet just 41 per cent of eligible children born between 2006 and 2012 have grabbed the free money offer. Of those born between 2007 and 2009, a little over 51 per cent received the grant, and for the rest of them, time’s up.

Of those born in 2010, 43.7 per cent; 2011, 34.8 per cent; and in the most recent year of eligibility, 2012, just 6,810 out of 46,028 kids have the free money so far, or 14.8 per cent.

For parents of kids born in 2006, time is running out. More than 30,000 children have not applied. The deadline is Aug. 14, 2019, after which, the money is left on the table.

• READ MORE: Free $1,200 grants going unclaimed by thousands in B.C.

The parents of children between the ages of six and nine when the program was introduced in 2015 were given three years to apply. The program was later extended to include children born in 2006. And the deadline for the kids born in 2007, 2008 and 2009 was last summer, meaning nearly half of those kids didn’t get it.

The deadline to apply now is by the beneficiary’s ninth birthday.

“It’s free money for kids. It takes 15 minutes out of your day to bring in $1,200.”

For information, any parent just needs to contact their financial institution or check out Brown’s Facebook page dedicated to the subject: www.facebook.com/TerryBrowninBC.


@PeeJayAitch
paul.henderson@theprogress.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Sunny skies across the Okanagan-Shuswap-Similkameen

Expect lots of sun to kick off your week

KFD, COSAR rescue injured hiker in Kelowna

Rescue happened after 1 p.m. on Lost Lake Trail after woman injured her leg

Firefighter spring training comes to Lake Country

From LNG to breaking down doors, firefighters get training from industry pros

Okanagan-Shuswap weather: Thunderstorm possible for South Okanagan

The rest of the region will enjoy a sunny day.

Free GolfBC Championship hits Kelowna golf course

Gallagher’s Canyon Golf Club hosts the Mackenzie Tour June 13

Police say it’s “impressive” no arrests were made after Raptors celebrations

Toronto will play the Western Conference champion Golden State Warriors next

Social media giants in hot seat as politicians consider regulations in Ottawa

Committee members will also grill representatives from Facebook, Twitter

Neighbours help save Okanagan garage fire from spreading

Neighbours knock down fire enough before BX-Swan Lake firefighters arrive to fully extinguish

UBC researchers want to hear from rural residents on health care

Once completed, the project will inform health care planning and policy decisions

Kamloops RCMP investigate violent home invasion

Police believe the incident was targeted

Wildfire crews watching for dangerous wind shift in High Level, Alta.

The Chuckegg Creek fire is raging out of control about three kilometres southwest of the town

UN urges Canada to take more vulnerable Mexican migrants from Central America

The request comes as the United States takes a harder line on its Mexican border

Trail played role during fur trade era

Fur Brigade Trail in Okanagan has long history

Most Read