With great disappointment, I report to you that the state budget does not contain funding to continue the 13th check in 2021 or 2022. Instead, the budget funded a 1% Cost of Living Adjustment (COLA) that will take effect beginning January 1, 2022. Frankly, this came as a shock to me and was a shock to the other members of the RIPEA Board of Directors. Especially, given the fact that earlier in the legislative session, the Indiana House of Representatives not only funded the 13th check in its version of the budget but passed HB 1227 giving retirees an additional $50 in their 13th check. The Indiana Senate’s opposition to the 13th check is something that we need to understand better, and we are working to do that. The consequences of their vote to eliminate the 13th check and approve a 1% COLA beginning January 1, 2022 will be devasting to the majority of PERF retirees.
We are not alone in our disappointment with the elimination of the 13th check. I have already met with representatives of the Indiana Retired Teachers Association. They, too, are very concerned about the loss of the 13th check and want to work with us to try to find a way to get the 13th check reinstated as quickly as possible.
The 13th check you would have received if HB 1227 became law is:
10-20 years of PERF service $325.00
20-30 years of PERF service $425.00
30+ years of PERF service $500.00
Included in this article is a template we suggest you use in writing a personal letter to your Legislators. I know we have encouraged you to write to your Legislators in the past. Some of you have done so, but the vast majority of you have not. If we are to have any chance to reinstate the 13th check, it is absolutely essential that your Legislators hear from you. Please use this template to tell a story about yourself – how long you worked as a public employee. Tell them how much you receive in benefits. Then explain how much your benefits have been reduced because of a 1% COLA substitution for the 13th check. If Legislators do not hear from you, they will simply assume that public employees are satisfied with the COLA instead of the 13th check.
If you don’t know the name of your State Senator or State Representative visit www.iga.in.gov . Click on “Find your Legislator” and enter your address. You may also call your County Clerk.
If we are to succeed, we need your help to do so. Please take a few minutes to write the letter. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to call the RIPEA office for assistance.
May __, 2021
Dear Representative/Senator, Last Name;
My name is __________________, and I am a retired PERF employee
with_____years of public service who resides in your district.
State, why you oppose the Senate’s decision to eliminate this year’s 13th check.
Tell them how much less you’re receiving in benefits because of a 1% COLA
substitution for the 13th check.
Include a personal story. Tell you representative why the issue is important to
you and how it affects you, your family members, and PERF retirees.
Sign your name
Print your name
Your Street Address
Your City, State, Zip Code