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13th check finally approved this year for thousands of public pension retirees

Bob Cherry speaks on the House floor. Cherry is a White man with white hair and goatee, wearing a suit and tie.
Lauren Chapman
IPB News
Rep. Bob Cherry (R-Greenfield) has been one of the legislature's biggest champions of the 13th check for public pension recipients.

Tens of thousands of public pension recipients will receive 13th checks this year after lawmakers approved a bill that one legislator said “corrects a wrong” from last session.

The House and Senate have long disagreed over whether to give public retirees a 13th check — an additional benefit between $150 and $450 — or a cost of living adjustment.

The dispute led to retirees getting no benefit enhancement in last year’s budget.

This session, the House finally convinced the Senate to give retirees a 13th check this year.

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Rep. Greg Porter (D-Indianapolis) said it was a long journey to get to this point.

“We are doing the right thing and all of us are on the right side of this issue in this room,” Porter said.

The measure also sets up a long-term solution to the debate: anyone who retires beginning July 1, 2025 will receive an annual, one percent cost of living adjustment.

All those who retire before that date will receive a 13th check each year.

Brandon is our Statehouse bureau chief. Contact him at or follow him on Twitter at @brandonjsmith5.

Brandon Smith has covered the Statehouse for Indiana Public Broadcasting for more than a decade, spanning three governors and a dozen legislative sessions. He's also the host of Indiana Week in Review, a weekly political and policy discussion program seen and heard across the state. He previously worked at KBIA in Columbia, Missouri and WSPY in Plano, Illinois. His first job in radio was in another state capitol - Jefferson City, Missouri - as a reporter for three stations around the Show-Me State.