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Indexation is a method used to adjust income payments or prices by applying a specific index. In financial terms, it is typically used to escalate the value of contracts, salaries, benefits, or rates based on changes in prices as determined by a designated index (like Consumer Price Index). The goal of indexation is to safeguard against the effects of inflation.


The phonetic spelling of the word “Indexation” is: /ˌɪndɛkˈseɪʃən/

Key Takeaways

  1. Controls for Price Changes: Indexation is a technique to adjust income payments by means of a price index, in order to maintain the purchasing power of the public after inflation.
  2. Used in Various Fields: It’s routinely used in many areas that may be impacted by inflation or other economic variables over time, from investment funds to pensions, and contracts for goods or services.
  3. Equitable Adjustment: It ensures a fair adjustment accounting for underlying economic factors, making certain that values remain accurate and relevant over time, thereby mitigating the risk of devaluation due to inflation or fluctuation in value.


Indexation in business and finance refers to the method of adjusting the prices, wages, or value of assets by a measure or index linked to the degree of inflation. Its importance lies in its capacity to maintain purchasing power and ensure that inflation doesn’t erode the value of money over time. It is particularly beneficial for long-term financial planning, as it provides a mechanism for reducing the uncertainty and risk related to the future real value of money. It is used in a range of financial contexts including wage negotiations, setting loan rates, and adjusting tax brackets. By allowing for adjustments and maintaining real values, indexation plays a crucial role in financial stability and economic growth.


Indexation serves a significant purpose in the world of finance and business by mitigating the potentially damaging effects of inflation. Its primary aim is to adjust incomes or benefits to keep pace with the cost of living so that purchasing power does not diminish over time. For instance, in countries with high inflation rates, wages, rents and pensions may be indexed to ensure that those relying on these incomes are not adversely impacted. Indexation also adjusts the value of investments or assets, creating an equitable balance in capital gains taxation as it accounts for the inflation rate during the period of holding the asset.Moreover, Indexation plays a crucial role in the field of investments, particularly with bonds and funds. Indexation of bonds ensures that return on bonds is aligned with the inflation rate, thereby preventing erosion of investment value due to inflation. Similarly, Index-funds or ETFs use indexation to tie their portfolios to a specific market index, thus ensuring that the fund’s performance matches that of the index. This method provides the advantage of diversifying risks as it takes into account a broader market spectrum, rather than investing in a single stock.


1. Cost of Living Adjustments (COLAs): Many employers and pension programs offer annual Cost of Living Adjustments (COLAs) to their employees or beneficiaries. These adjustments typically come in the form of a wage or benefit increase that is tied to a cost-of-living index, such as the Consumer Price Index (CPI). This index measures the average change over time in the prices paid by urban consumers for a typical basket of goods and services, which helps organizations determine an appropriate increase to counterbalance inflation.2. Indexed Bonds: A common finance example would be indexed bonds, such as Treasury Inflation-Protected Securities (TIPS) in the United States. These are bonds where the principal is adjusted with inflation (measured through a relevant index like CPI), ensuring the real value of the investment is maintained despite changes in the purchasing power of money, thereby providing an inflation-protected investment. 3. Index Mutual Funds or ETFs: In the investment world, indexation is the basis for index mutual funds or exchange-traded funds (ETFs). These investment vehicles are designed to match or track a specific market index, such as the S&P 500 or FTSE 100. Rather than attempt to beat the market, these funds aim to mirror the performance of the index and provide broad market exposure to investors.

Frequently Asked Questions(FAQ)

What is Indexation?

Indexation is a financial technique that adjusts income payments by means of a price index, in order to maintain the purchasing power of the public after inflation, as the price level changes over time.

How does Indexation work in finance?

Indexation works by tracking the prices of specific goods and services, and then adjusting financial metrics to meet changes in the cost of these items over time. This helps maintain purchasing power and provide a more accurate picture of financial performance.

What are some examples of Indexation?

Examples of indexation could include revising tax brackets, adjusting social security benefits, or modifying the payment terms for bonds and other financial tools to account for inflation.

Why is Indexation important in finance and business?

Indexation is crucial in finance and business as it adjusts for the effects of inflation, allowing individuals and businesses to maintain their purchasing power and financial health.

How does Indexation help bolster the economy?

Indexation can assist in stabilizing the economy by adjusting for inflation, potentially encouraging economic activities such as spending and investment.

Is Indexation used in all countries?

Not all countries use indexation. The approach varies from one jurisdiction to another based on their economic policies and structures. Countries with high inflation rates often use indexation as a method to neutralize its effects.

How does Indexation affect personal income and pensions?

Indexation affects personal income and pensions by adjusting them to meet the changes in cost of living, which means individuals maintain their purchase power regardless of the rate of inflation.

Does Indexation apply to taxes?

Yes, indexation applies to taxes. Most tax systems adjust tax brackets every year in line with inflation to avoid ‘bracket creep’ , a situation where inflation pushes income into higher tax brackets, leading to an increase in income taxes without an increase in real income.

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