Though all may sound tried and true, RDSPs are greatly underused with only about 11 per cent of the approximate 550,000 eligible Canadians taking advantage of them as of June 2012, as reported by the CBC in February. This represents a total of 59,207 RDSP accounts – a 27 per cent increase from 2010 – according to Planned Lifetime Advocacy Network (PLAN), a non-profit group out of Vancouver, which lobbied for the creation of RDSPs.
“I don't feel that there is enough information out there for the public to be aware of RDSPs …,” says Jamison. “…yet we see more and more families who could use this type of account.”
Cahill agrees, blaming this on a lack of promotion and education by the government, who created the plans, and financial institutions offering them.
“Does the government really want to randomly give away money? If so, they would have promoted it (RDSPs) the same way they promoted the tax-free savings accounts,” he says. “The governments are genius. They introduce these plans and if no one uptakes them, they can say ‘well, we tried and no one took advantage of them.’ It’s a lot of smoke and mirrors.”
Disclaimer: Natalie Jamison is a Senior Wealth Advisor at Jamison Family Wealth Management Group at ScotiaMcleod in Oakville. The publication of her quotes is intended only to convey information. It is not to be construed as an investment guide.