Hendricks County legislators: House unanimously approves 13th check for state’s public retirees

STATEHOUSE (Jan. 30, 2024) – Legislation providing a 13th check to retired public employees is now one step closer to becoming law after the Indiana House of Representatives unanimously approved the measure, according to Hendricks County lawmakers.

The legislation, co-authored by State Reps. Craig Haggard (R-Mooresville), Greg Steuerwald (R-Avon) and Jeff Thompson (R-Lizton), would provide a one-time, post-retirement payment designed to help cover cost-of-living gaps. Retired public employees like teachers, state excise police, gaming agents, gaming control officers, conservation officers and state police officers who are a part of Indiana’s public pension program would receive a 13th check.

“For decades our retired public employees counted on a supplemental payment like a 13th check or cost-of-living adjustment, but they didn’t receive either last year,” Thompson said. “As inflation continues to hit Hoosiers hard, pensions simply don’t go as far as they used to. Indiana’s strong fiscal health gives us the opportunity to make a one-time payment and provide some relief to our retirees.”

Payments would be based on an employee’s number of years vested in their retirement plan. Steuerwald said the state would use existing, dedicated funds to make one-time payments to retirees, which would average about $360 per recipient.

“Whether you’re buying food or fuel, or paying your electric bill, inflation is affecting everyone – particularly those living on fixed incomes,” Steuerwald said. “This session, one of our top priorities is to pass the 13th check legislation to help our public retirees. I’m glad to see this bill received overwhelming support in the House.”

“This bill represents our collective effort to help these retirees with inflationary costs,” Haggard said. “They deserve the additional support after providing so much for our state.”

As of early 2024, there are nearly 100,000 retired public employees who would qualify for a 13th check under this legislation.

House Bill 1004 now heads to the Indiana Senate for consideration. In 2023, House lawmakers supported similar legislation, but the bill ultimately died in the Senate. Learn more about the bill and track it through the legislative process at iga.in.gov.

About Brian Scott

I play on the radio from 7 am -1 pm weekdays on 98.9 WYRZ and WYRZ.org. Follow me on twitter @WYRZBrianScott or e-mail me at brian@wyrz.org.

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