Messmer Column: Ensuring stability for public retirees

Local Sources- On this week's Messmer Column, State Senator Mark Messmer (R-Jasper) discusses ensuring stability for public retirees.

As all Hoosiers know, rising inflation in recent years has made household budgets tighter, and paying for necessities like groceries, gas and utility bills has become increasingly challenging.

Inflation has taken an even bigger toll on those who live on a fixed income.

In Indiana, public retirees are eligible for a monthly pension that is paid through 12 checks each year.

In previous years, the Indiana General Assembly has approved either a cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) or an extra check known commonly as a 13th check.

This year, the Interim Study Committee on Pension Management Oversight studied ways to permanently offer state and local public retirees more money each year in their pensions and make recommendations to the Indiana General Assembly.

Committee members heard testimony from several stakeholders, including the Indiana Public Retirement System, the Retired Indiana Public Employees Association, the Indiana Retired Teachers Association and Indiana State Police.

While a 13th check may offer some retirees more money in their pocket, for others who will be receiving their pension longer, a COLA would be much more beneficial.

That's why the recommendations from the committee include offering a 13th check to those who retire before a yet-to-be-determined date and cost-of-living adjustment for those who retire after this date.

The committee approved its final report at its hearing on Oct. 24.

Several interim committees will continue to meet over the next few weeks. To view committee livestreams and agendas, visit

As always, feel free to contact my office directly with your questions and concerns by email at [email protected] or by phone at 800-382-9467.