Ask an Accountant: Lifelong learning plan

Francesca Giroux, CPA
For the Lakeside Leader

The Lifelong Learning Plan (LLP) is a provision of the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) that allows you to withdraw up to $10,000 in a calendar year from your registered retirement savings plans (RRSPs) in order to finance full-time training or education for you, your spouse or common-law partner. The total amount that can be withdrawn from the plan is $20,000, with a maximum of $10,000 allowed to be withdrawn each year, as long as you meet the conditions of the LLP every year.
The conditions are that you must have an RRSP, be a Canadian resident, and the LLP student must be enrolled (or have received an offer to enroll before March of the next year) as a full-time student at a designated educational institution and in a qualifying program. The LLP student has to enroll before March of the year after the LLP withdrawal and still be enrolled in the educational program in April of the year after the LLP withdrawal unless the student has already completed the program by then. Generally speaking a qualifying educational program is one that is certified by Human Resources and Skills Development Canada or is a program at the post-secondary school level that lasts three consecutive months or more and requires the LLP student to spend 10 hours or more per week on courses or work in the program (not including study time).
A designated educational institution includes a Canadian university, college, or any other educational institution in Canada that has been designated by a province or territory for purposes of financial assistance to students or Canada Student Loans; a Canadian educational institution certified by Human Resources and Skills Development Canada providing courses that develop or improve skills in an occupation; or a university outside Canada, where the Canadian student is enrolled in a course that lasts at least three consecutive weeks and leads at least to a bachelor degree or equivalent or higher.
An individual can keep withdrawing funds from their RRSP until January of the fourth calendar year after the year the first LLP withdrawal was made, as long as the individual continues to meet the LLP conditions.
Please e-mail your questions to [email protected]
Information provided is of a general nature. As each individual or company?s situation is unique, you may wish to consult with your CGA for information specific to your own needs.


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