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Cost-of-Living Adjustments (COLA)

Cost-of-living adjustments (COLA) are effective each January and are applied to your ATRF pension (including the Advance & Reduction Option) before income tax is deducted.

For the pension payable on pensionable service to December 31, 1992, the COLA is calculated at 60% of the change from year to year in the Alberta Consumer Price Index (ACPI).

For the pension payable on pensionable service from January 1, 1993, the COLA is calculated at 70% of the change from year to year in the ACPI.

Plan members who received a pension for less than 12 months in the previous year receive a pro-rated adjustment.

Click here to view the COLA Calculation Explanation Information Sheet.

The Teachers' Pension Plans Act defines the method used to determine the COLA as the most recent 12-month period ending October 31 compared to the previous 12-month period ending October 31. This method is the same as used by other major pension plans. The Canada Pension Plan and Ontario Teachers' Pension Plan both use the Canadian Consumer Price Index (CPI), not the ACPI which is specific to Alberta's economy.

COLA Tren​​​ds


​January 2020​1.70%​1.02%​1.19%
​January 2019​2.50%​1.50%​1.75%
​January 2018​1.30%​0.78%​0.91%
​January 2017​1.30%​0.78%​0.91%
​January 2016​1.20%​0.72%​0.84%
​January 2015​2.60%​1.56%​1.82%
Lowest since 1994: 20100.10%0.06%0.07%
Highest since 1994: 20045.70%3.42%3.99%

Alberta Consumer Price Index

The Alberta Consumer Price Index (ACPI) measures the average price change of goods and services purchased by Alberta consumers, by comparing the cost of a fixed basket of goods and services from different time periods. There are eight major components, (listed below) each with a specific weighting of the fixed basket. For more information about the ACPI refer to the Statistics Canada website.

  1. Shelter
  2. Transportation
  3. Food
  4. Recreation, Education & Reading
  5. Household Operations, Furnishings & Equipment
  6. Clothing & Footware
  7. Health & Personal Care
  8. Alcoholic Beverages & Tobacco

Price Indices

Price indices are based on such things as the increase or decrease of natural gas, electricity, and homeowners replacement costs, which fluctuate from year to year.

Plan Sponsors' Decision on the Factors

The two ATRF plan sponsors agreed, as part of a joint Memorandum of Understanding in 1992, to use the factors of 60% of ACPI (for service prior to 1993) and 70% of ACPI (for service after 1992). The cost of each factor is funded through contribution rates. The cost of the 60% factor is shared equally by teachers and the Alberta Government; the cost of the extra 10% is the responsibility of teachers. The incremental cost of a 100% COLA was not considered to be affordable by either sponsor at that time.

Pension Information Statements Describe COLA Calculation

Pension Information Statements will be mailed in January. To receive an electronic copy of the statement, instead of a mailed statement, select this option after registering for MyPension. The statement shows your updated pension payment amount, including the impact of any income withholding tax changes.

Contact Us for More Information

For any questions please email


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