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.

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.

There is no guarantee that a COLA will be granted every year.

In your first year of retirement, your inflation adjustment is pro-rated according to the number of months you’ve been retired.

How the board decides if COLA will be applied

In deciding whether to apply a COLA cap each year, the College Pension Board of Trustees reviews:

  • Changes in the Canadian consumer price index (CPI) over a 12-month period from November to October
  • The COLA cap
  • The funds available in the inflation adjustment account of BC's College Pension Plan (both active members and employers contribute to this account)

If the board grants a COLA, it will take effect in January.

The COLA cap

The COLA cap is the maximum COLA that can be provided to retired members in any given year. The COLA cap can be set by the College Pension Board of Trustees following each actuarial analysis of the inflation adjustment account. Establishing a cap as needed ensures that COLAs, which are not guaranteed, remain sustainable for the long term.

The board has not used the COLA cap since 2020.

At any time, the board may choose to reintroduce the COLA cap to protect its sustainability.

Learn how COLA affects your pension

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

Cost-of-living adjustment history

Year Increase (%)
2024 4.4
2023 6.5
2022 2.7
2021 1.0
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

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.