Update 2/3/2023

HB 1028, 13th check bill with a $50.00 increase from the last 13th check paid in 2020, was passed unanimously by the House Employment, Labor, and Pensions Committee on February 2nd.  The bill was forwarded to the Ways and Means Committee for the next Committee Hearing.

The amounts of the 13th check in HB 1028 are:

                    5-10 years of service – disability             $200.00

                   10-20 years of service                              $325.00

                   20-30 years of service                              $425.00

                   30 years of service                                    $500.00

2023 Legislative Report

Your RIPEA Board of Directors voted unanimously to ask the 2023 Legislature for a 13th check with a $50 increase in each bracket.  Rep. Bob Cherry is the author of HB 1028, which contains the 13th check with a $50 increase, and Rep. Mike Karickhoff is the co-author.

RIPEA is grateful for Rep. Karickhoff for his tireless efforts in passing HB 1227 out of the House in 2021.  The bill contained a 13th check with a $50 increase.  As a result of Rep. Karickhoff’s efforts the bill passed the House with one dissenting vote.  Unfortunately, as you are aware, the bill died in the Senate and as a result, PERF retirees received no increase in retirement income in 2021.

We encourage all members to contact their legislator(s) to support HB 1028.  You will see in the newsletter a set of talking points that may help you in this effort.

In contacting your legislator(s) please do the following: personalize your comments to reflect how the loss of the 13th check in 2021 affected you; be courteous and respectful to your legislator(s).

RIPEA appreciates all your efforts.

 

Talking Points on H.B. 1028

  • No 13th check in 2021 or 2021.
  • Last increase in 13th check was 2011.
  • PERF retirees received a 13th check in 28 of the last 32 years.
  • The cost of a 13th check with a $50 increase, as calculated by the Legislative Services Agency in 2021, was 67.3 million and the cost of the 1% COLA was 192 million.
  • Based on input from PERF retirees:
    • The majority of RIPEA members prefer a 13th check.
    • Most retirees that contact our office tell us they use the 13th check to pay outstanding bills such as personal property tax, medical bills, home repair, etc.
  • 9193 PERF retirees monthly defined benefit is $200 or less. *
  • The average monthly defined benefit is $693. *
  • 71% of PERF retirees monthly benefit is less than $800. *

 Source – PERF 2020 Valuation Report

 

 

2022 Legislature

The Indiana Legislature adjourned Wednesday, March 9, 2022.
 
No 13th check again in 2022.

 

 

2021 Legislature

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.

 

 TEMPLATE

 

 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.

 

 Sincerely,

 Sign your name

Print your name

Your Street Address

Your City, State, Zip Code