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BMO Bank of Montreal Launches BMO Education Savings Gift Certificates - a New Way For Friends and Family to Contribute to a Child’s Education  


BMO Bank of Montreal is encouraging Canadians to give the gift of education to the children on their lists this holiday season, with the launch of BMO Education Savings Gift Certificates.

BMO Education Savings Gift Certificates are perfect for anyone who wants to contribute towards a child’s future.   Grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins and friends need only visit their local BMO Bank of Montreal branch and select from a  $50, $100 or $250 gift certificate.  To redeem the gift certificate, parents take it to a BMO branch and meet with an investment professional who will help them determine the most appropriate plan to help them reach their education savings goals.

“The challenge many face when buying gifts for kids is keeping up with the latest toys and trends.  To solve this dilemma, more and more people are turning to gift certificates as an easy way to save time and to get the right gift.  BMO Education Savings Gift Certificates are a practical and meaningful present for any child on your list,” said Michelle Benson, Group Product Manager, BMO Mutual Funds.

RESPs are designed to help parents save for their child’s future education.   The growth of the investment is not taxed until funds are withdrawn to pay for post-secondary education.  This growth will be taxed in the hands of the student and the tax rate is based on the student’s income bracket at the time, which is typically much lower than the parents’. The maximum contribution limit is $4,000 per year, per beneficiary.  Contributions may be made for up to 21 years, to a lifetime maximum of $42,000 per beneficiary. An RESP terminates when all the funds have been withdrawn or on or before the last day of the 25th year following the year in which the RESP is entered into, whichever comes first.

“Considering the average post-secondary education is estimated to cost $96,000* by the year 2021, I think any contributions would be welcomed by parents and kids this holiday season,” added Benson.

This is the perfect time of year to contribute to an RESP due to the December 31st deadline to qualify for this year’s Canadian Education Savings Grant (CESG). The CESG is a grant from the Government of Canada paid directly into a beneficiary’s RESP.  It adds 20 per cent to the first $2,000 in contributions made into an RESP on behalf of a beneficiary each year.  Contributions can be made to an RESP and qualify for the CESG up to and including the year the child turns 17**. Through this program, the government will contribute a maximum of $7,200.

BMO Education Savings Gift Certificates are only available and valid at BMO Bank of Montreal branches across Canada.

The BMO Education Savings Gift Certificates are being promoted with an online contest hosted by  The contest called “Colour My Future” encourages children ages four to nine to mail-in a drawing of what they want to be when they grow up, for a chance to win $2,000 worth of BMO Education Savings Gift Certificates, FUJI cameras and Grand and Toy art supplies.  The contest is running from December 1, 2003 until January 12, 2004.

Further information about RESPs and BMO Education Savings Gift Certificates is available at BMO Bank of Montreal branches across Canada or at

*Education costs include tuition, a single residence room with meals and books.  Projections are provided by BMO Financial Group Economics Department in conjunction with the Association of Universities and Colleges of Canada and Statistics Canada.

**Certain CESG requirements apply for children aged 16 and 17 years.