Pension Life - Winter 2024

Your 2024 COLA is 4.4 per cent

Man in kitchen cooking

Message from the trustees

One of our priorities is to ensure cost-of-living adjustments (COLAs) remain sustainable year after year. Because of this, we are pleased to announce that, effective January 1, 2024, you received a COLA of 4.4 per cent.

The COLA is based on the change in the 12-month average Canadian consumer price index (CPI) up to October 2023. Read below for more about the CPI.

The IAA is healthy

While inflation slowed down in 2023, it remains high. The plan’s ability to provide you a full COLA during these times demonstrates the health of the plan’s inflation adjustment account (IAA).

Two years ago, we boosted the IAA’s sustainability by allocating more than $100 million of the plan’s actuarial surplus to it. This allocation is part of our ongoing commitment to make COLAs a priority for surplus funds.

We will reassess the IAA’s financial position as part of the next actuarial valuation, measured as at August 31, 2024.

COLAs and your pension

College Pension Plan rules allow us to grant an annual COLA equal to the change in the average CPI. While not guaranteed, COLAs help maintain the purchasing power of your pension by keeping pace with inflation. Once COLAs are granted, they become part of your basic pension. They also become part of your bridge benefit and temporary annuity for as long as you receive them.

If you retired partway through 2023, your COLA will be pro-rated based on the number of months in 2023 you received a pension.

The graph below shows how an average pension granted 20 years ago has grown due to COLAs.

Basic pension plus COLAs granted ($)

Basic pension plus COLAs granted chart

Different plans, different calculations

Because some BC public sector pension plans calculate COLAs in different ways, retired members from these plans may receive a different COLA than you in any given year. Read more in the Adjusting for inflation learning article, available under related content.

What is the consumer price index?

The CPI is an indicator of changes in consumer prices paid by Canadians. The CPI, which measures about 700 goods and services every month, is generated by Statistics Canada. The average price difference, weighted based on how much Canadians spend on each good or service, determines the CPI change. Statistics Canada determined that between November 2022 and October 2023, compared to the previous 12 months, the price of the 700 goods and services increased 4.4 per cent.

Your COLA is a priority

COLAs help your pension keep up with inflation.

Though they are not guaranteed, we are committed to ensuring COLAs are sustainable over the long term to equitably support all members—past, present and future.

Related content for your COLA

Adjusting for inflation

Plan rules

External link for Statistics Canada

Statistics Canada consumer price index portal