How do cost-of-living increases to my pension work?

Every year the Teachers’ Pension Board of Trustees look at the September Consumer Price Index (CPI) for Canada. The September CPI measures inflation over the year – from September 2016 to September 2017. Then, if there is enough money in our Inflation Adjustment Account, the Trustees grant an increase to our pensions equal to the September CPI. The CPI for this past September was 1.6% and since our Inflation Adjustment Account is in a healthy position we expect that announcement from the Trustees soon.

The 2016 cost of living increase in our plan was 1%. The full cost of that increase was $106.2 million. When cost of living increases are made, those increases become part of our lifetime, guaranteed pension. That $106.2 million doesn’t just pay for the increased pensions during 2017, it pays for that 1% increase until each of the current retirees pass away.

This year’s cost of living increase will likely cost about $170 million and again, that will buy the 1.6% increase to all pensions currently in pay, guaranteed until each of us join the choir eternal.

Scam Alert!

Last week our 1st Vice President (Gerry) got an email pretending to be from our President (Patricia) asking for some information to hurry the payment of an outstanding bill. Everything looked legitimate including Patricia’s email address but of course this was a ‘phishing’ expedition to gain account information.

We have seen these fraudulent attempts before and remind you, especially executive members whose email addresses may be publicly available to be suspicious of all requests for financial information – even those that appear to be from a friend, colleague or relative.

Caring for your online security is no joke, but British comedian James Veitch finds a way to take risks on your behalf, and the results are hilarious.


Strategic Planning Session Held

The Board held a second, full-day strategic planning session this past week. We reviewed the process, compared our strategic plans with that of similar organizations, completed a SWOT analysis (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats) and began to review and update our goals. We were very capably led by Al Baliniuk, who besides being an expert on strategic planning, is the President of the Surrey RTA.

As often happens with this sort of exercise, we ran out of time before we ran out of work. So the Board is meeting again soon to complete the task. Watch for more communications and the details of our work near the end of January.

Thanks to those who submitted feedback on our plan. We continue to welcome your thoughts, ideas and question. Send them to

Record Growth in Membership

BCRTA has set a record of 786 new members joining our association this year to date, thanks to our one-year free membership offer and our I-Pad contest. Johnson Insurance provided 10 I-Pad Mini tablets and all new members were entered in a draw to win one.

We congratulate these winners:

Shirley Wong, Surrey Branch
Laurie Faulkner, Sunshine Coast Branch
Vicki Hickenbotham, Coquitlam Branch
Doris Kuehn, South Okanagan Branch
Ann Kratzer, Surrey Branch
Stephen Fairbairn, Elk Valley Branch
Linda Wiens, Langley Branch
Jeannette Tabb, Delta Branch
Elliott, Kim D., Coquitlam Branch
Janice Gladish, Campbell River Branch

New members are welcome to join BCRTA and will receive free membership until September, 2018. However, the free I-Pad contest is now closed.

BCRTA thanks the iPad Giveaway sponsor:

COSCO – Promoting Healthy Living

Our BCRTA focus on well-being complements our affiliated group, the Council of Senior Citizens Organizations of BC.  COSCO Health and Wellness Institute offers free PowerPoint presentations to senior groups in BC.  The brochure is available at  If you are interested in training as a presenter please contact Barb at