Cost-of-living adjustments

Your monthly pension payment may increase to reflect increases in the cost of living.

Your monthly pension payment may increase as a result of an annual cost-of-living adjustment (COLA). This adjustment may be added to your pension to help it keep pace with increases in the cost of living over time.

COLAs are not guaranteed. They are based on:

  • Changes in the Canadian consumer price index (CPI) over a 12-month period from November to October
  • The funds available in the inflation adjustment account of BC's College Pension Plan

Both active members and employers contribute to the inflation adjustment account. Each year, the College Pension Board of Trustees reviews any changes in CPI and the available funds in the inflation adjustment account. If the board grants a COLA, it will take effect in January.

Once a COLA is granted, it becomes part of your lifetime pension. The COLA is also applied to the bridge benefit and the temporary annuity portion of your pension, if applicable.

Each year, read the winter issue of Pension Life to find out if a COLA will be applied and, if so, its percentage. You can check your January pension statement to find out how the COLA may increase your monthly pension payment for the coming year.

Every three years, the plan’s independent actuary conducts a valuation of the plan, including the inflation adjustment account. Based on future valuation results, the board may choose to set a cap on the maximum COLA to protect its sustainability.

Cost-of-living adjustment history

The following table shows the COLAs granted since 2000

Year Increase (%)
2020 1.9
2019 2.07
2018 1.5
2017 1.4
2016 1.2
2015 1.8
2014 0.9
2013 1.8
2012 1.83
2011 1.7
2010 0.0
2009 3.4
2008 2.5
2007 0.7
2006 3.4
2005 1.8
2004 2.2
2003 2.3
2002 2.6
2001 2.7
2000 2.6

External link for cost-of-living adjustments

See Statistics Canada's publication Your Guide to the Consumer Price Index for information on how the consumer price index is calculated.