Columns: RDSP awareness month

Saving for the future is one of the key building blocks of financial security.

Saving for the future is one of the key building blocks of financial security — it’s a goal we all share, but it can be especially pivotal for people with disabilities.

In 2008, the federal government introduced Registered Disability Savings Plans (RDSPs) — long-term federal savings plans that provide grants and bonds to help people with disabilities save for their future.

Under our BC Liberal government, we became the first province to support RDSPs, and in 2013, we established October as RDSP Awareness Month.

RDSPs are an excellent way to save: they are available to any Canadian resident with a Social Insurance Number who is under 60 and eligible for the Canada Disability Tax Credit and, for eligible households, the federal government matches every dollar contributed with up to three dollars in Canada Disability Savings Grants. Our provincial government has also made sure that any money held in or paid out of an RDSP will not affect people’s income or disability assistance.

We want as many individuals as possible to benefit from this saving tool. So far, a higher percentage of people with disabilities under 50 in BC have RDSPs than in any other province, and the average value of their RDSPs is also the highest in Canada. However, there is still room for improvement, as 60,000 more people with disabilities under 50 could still benefit from opening an RDSP. That’s why we committed to Accessibility 2024 — our government’s 10-year action plan to make BC the most progressive place in Canada for people with disabilities, which includes ensuring BC has the highest savings rate for persons with disabilities in Canada by 2024. We also created the RDSP Action Group, which has launched a toll-free RDSP hotline (1-844-311-PLAN (7526) and released step-by-step guides to help people with disabilities plan for the future. Having a secure financial plan can make a big difference for people with disabilities, and their loved ones. If you or someone you know could benefit from an RDSP, I encourage you to visit www.rdsp.com to find out more.

Contact MLA Barnett’s constituency office:

Phone: 250-395-3916

E-mail: donna.barnett.mla@leg.bc.ca

Donna Barnett is the Liberal MLA for Cariboo-Chilcotin.

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