July 2023 Pension Payments Include 2022 Cost-of-Living Increase
Your pension payments may increase annually thanks to cost-of-living adjustments (COLA). A COLA is an increase to your monthly pension benefit payment. The adjustment partially offsets the impact of inflation. Once you receive an adjustment, it becomes part of your lifetime pension going forward.
The Board approved a 1.57% COLA based on the 2022 change in the Canadian Consumer Price Index (CPI) of 6.32%. The COLA will be included in the July 2023 pension payments to eligible pension recipients. This increase also applies to eligible members with deferred accounts.
COLAs are not guaranteed. Each year the Plan’s actuary and the Board study the financial position of the Superannuation Adjustment Account (the Account) to determine if another COLA can be granted on July 1, and if so, its value. COLA is based on changes in the Canadian CPI averaged over the 12-month period from January to December of the previous year.
The Account funding level is affected by factors that include changes in the CPI, investment returns, funding formula, and plan demographics. A history of CSSB COLA percentages since 1977 can be found here.
There is concern that, unless changes are made, COLAs may not keep up with increases to the CPI. The Superannuation and Insurance Liaison Committee, which represents plan members in negotiating plan benefits, is studying the sustainability of the COLA Account.