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Questions to ask when deciding which financial institution to choose to open your RDSP.

Is the financial institution convenient for me to reach?

Is the financial institution convenient for me to reach?

Questions to consider:

  • Is the financial institution easy to get to?
  • Is it near transit?
  • Is it accessible?
  • What are the opening hours?

What are the administrative or management fees?

Some financial institutions do not charge fees and others might. Ask if there is an administration fee, set-up fee and/or management fee. You may be willing to pay a fee, but if not, another financial institution might be better.

How much does it cost to move your RDSP to another financial institution?

You are allowed to move your RDSP from one financial institution to another, no matter what the reason. But you might have to pay to do this. The fees tend to range from $25–$50.

What is their process for getting contributions?

You want a financial institution that takes direct deposits into your RDSP. You need to know how your financial institution receives and deposits money into an RDSP. This is especially important if you are getting disability benefits so that money does not enter your personal (savings or checking) account. Money into your personal account might be counted as income and can be clawed-back by government, whereas money directly into your RDSP is not.

What are the rules around who manages the RDSP?

Some financial institutions may allow for joint holdership if you want some help from a friend or family member to manage your RDSP. Remember that if anyone but you is to be holder of your RDSP, they must be your legal representative. There are three types of legal representatives:

  1. You can appoint someone to manage your financial affairs with a Power of Attorney.
  2. In BC you can also appoint a Representative with a Representation Agreement.
  3. The other option is where an adult guardian is appointed, usually by a court.

Since the rules around holdership of your RDSP can be complicated, you may want to learn more about it. To start, you can read about Choosing Your Holder - RDSP at the Plan Institute’s website and the Government of Canada RDSP holder information site.

What choices do you have to invest your RDSP?

Once you open your RDSP account, you will need to choose how to invest it. Investing your money well means that your money will grow! Some financial institutions will have a set investment plan that you must follow, where other banks will allow you to choose a plan.

There are usually advisors at financial institutions that will help you make good decisions on how to best invest your money depending on how old you are, how much money you have and how quickly you want to use it. Choose someone who gives you different options for investment and talk through these choices with them. Note that brokerages often offer better rates (lower fees) on their investment options.

What type of payments will the financial institution allow out of an RDSP?

Financial institutions have to offer formula payments – when a set amount of money comes out regularly. However, you may want to take a large amount out to go on a trip, buy a car or put a down payment on a house. Not all financial institutions will allow you to do this. If you want to take out large amounts, you will need to make sure your financial institution allows this.

Tips for families & friends:

The relationship with a financial institution is important and should be a comfortable place for your friend or relative to do business.

If possible, help your friend or relative to open their RDSP account. You can help them set up a relationship with their financial professional and be with them to ask questions about fees, investment options, and payments.

Review the Access RDSP Questions to Ask a Financial Institution when choosing where to open an RDSP for more questions to consider.


What province are you from?

Knowing your province helps us make this tool the best experience for you.

Important information about benefits for Indigenous Peoples

If you are Indigenous there are many things that affect the benefits you can get and the dollar amounts you can get from them. These include the agreements your band or governing body has with provincial, territorial, and federal governments. Before applying to any benefits, you should speak with your governing body, if applicable.

AFOA Canada and Prosper Canada are currently seeking funding to develop an online tool that serves the needs of Indigenous people living in Canada.