Why the Lifelong Learning Plan is for you

You want to improve your professional life, so you're thinking of completing your college or university degree. How do you manage it when the money isn't exactly growing on trees?

The Lifelong Learning Plan (LLP) is designed for just this type of situation. It allows you to withdraw money from your RRSP penalty-free. It's like giving yourself a no-interest loan.

You can use the LLP yourself or for your spouse. You can even both use it at the same time.

To be eligible for the LLP, you must meet the following conditions:

  • Study for at least 3 consecutive months.
  • Be considered a full-time student, according to the rules of your educational institution.
  • Do at least 10 hours per week of courses or work.
  • Be enrolled at a designated post-secondary institution. To learn more about designated educational institutions, visit the Canada Revenue Agency site.

How much can I withdraw? Up to $10,000 per year, with a limit of $20,000 in 4 years.

How long do I have to repay it? A maximum of 10 years. At least 10% of the amount must be repaid every year. Note that the repaid sums are not considered to be RRSP contributions and are not tax-deductible.

How many times can I participate in the LLP? As many times as you like. You can participate in the LLP again the year after you have paid the full amount back into your RRSP.

To learn more

Visit the Canada Revenue Agency site.

Tips and hints

RRSP at a glance

To better understand the basics of the registered retirement savings plan.

Read tip - RRSP 101

RRSP: Don't wait!

The sooner you start contributing, the better!

Read tip - The advantages of making early RRSP contributions

Unused RRSP contribution room

If you haven't contributed your maximum, you can catch up because your unused contribution room is carried over to subsequent years.

Read tip - Using your unused contribution room

An RRSP loan can help you increase your contribution

Borrowing $10,000 for your RRSP could pay off in a big way.

Read tip - Borrowing to contribute to your RRSP

Pay down your mortgage or contribute to your RRSP?

Your strategy should depend on your lifestyle and your age.

Read tip - Should you pay down your mortgage or contribute to your RRSP?

HBP: Using your RRSP to buy a home

How to withdraw part or all of your RRSPs without paying income taxes.

Read tip - Withdrawing from your RRSP without penalty to buy a property

Your savings: RRSP or TFSA?

It all depends on what you want to do with your money.

Read tip - Comparing TFSAs and RRSPs