Cost-of-living adjustments

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

During retirement, your monthly pension payment may increase because 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. A COLA is based on the Canadian consumer price index and applied to your pension starting in January each year if there are sufficient funds available in the plan’s inflation adjustment account (IAA).

As part of your pension contributions, one per cent of your salary is transferred to the IAA, which is a fund used to help offset the effects of inflation.

The amount of the annual COLA you receive, if any, depends on the amount of money in the IAA available to pay for an increase. Increases can be applied to both the lifetime portion of your pension plan and the bridge benefit.

Although future COLAs are not guaranteed, once you have received an adjustment, it becomes part of your basic lifetime pension for all following years.

If the cost of living goes down, your pension payment will not decrease. You will simply not receive an increase for that year.

The pension statement you receive in January will state the percentage and amount of the COLA, if any, for the coming year.

Cost-of-living adjustment history

Year Increase (%)
2021 0.5
2020 1.9
2019 2.2
2018 1.6
2017 1.3
2016 1.0
2015 2.0
2014 1.1
2013 1.2
2012 3.2
2011 1.0
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

Related content for COLA

Understand your retired member pension statement

Statistics Canada's publication Your Guide to the Consumer Price Index