Teachers' Pensions

Sick leave and Ill-health

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Sick leave is pensionable, provided the member is receiving at least half their salary in respect of that employment. While the member is in pensionable employment continue to use the same contribution rate as usual, but only apply it to the actual pensionable earnings in the period. Please report the service and salary as if they were receiving their usual full salary, as they will continue to accrue pension as if they were on full pay.

As and when the member is receiving less than half their salary the service is no longer pensionable and contributions must not be deducted. Please report this period of less than half salary as days excluded on service and salary returns.

It’s the responsibility of you and your occupational health advisors to explore ways of helping a member return to work, either through redeployment, part-time working or other workplace adjustments. If they reduce their responsibilities or working pattern and that is unsuccessful in managing their health problems, they can still apply for ill-health benefits. If approved, any enhancement to ill-health benefits will be calculated using salaries before the change in responsibilities or working pattern, provided the illness causing them to apply for benefits is the same as the one when the change occurred. A ‘stepping-down’ form is available on the website to allow employers and members to notify Teachers’ Pensions that a reduction in responsibilities or work-pattern, in order to manage health problems, has occurred.

But what if the person is unable to return to work because of their health issues?

The application forms for ill-health retirement can be downloaded from here. The member should complete the application form, and you and your occupational health advisors should complete the medical evidence form. If your occupational health advisors consider that the application does not contain enough medical information to enable the application to be fully considered, they must provide the applicant with the opportunity to consider if there is additional information that can be provided.

When a medical condition is severe enough to warrant ill-health retirement, it’s reasonable to expect that the applicant will have been assessed by a specialist. It will greatly help in the consideration of the medical information if this is the case and supporting evidence is provided by the specialist. No medical reports can be obtained by Teachers' Pensions on the applicant’s behalf.

The forms should be sent to us together with any additional medical evidence that the member wants to include. If the forms are not correctly completed and signed they will be rejected.

If a member has more than one, but less than two years’ service they can, in the event of a terminal illness, receive a short service serious ill-health grant.

What happens after Teachers’ Pensions receive the application?

Applications and supporting medical evidence are considered by Medical Advisors appointed by the Secretary of State and the final decision is made by us, taking into account the Medical Advisor observations.

You and the member will be notified of the decision. If ill-health is granted and the member is still actively teaching, you must arrange for this to cease immediately. You must arrange for your payroll team/supplier to provide details of the member’s pensionable service and salary from the date of their last submission to us, up to the last day of pensionable service.

If an application is accepted then what will the member receive?

There are two different levels of ill-health benefits that can be awarded. Accrued benefits are awarded if the member is assessed as being permanently unable to teach but can do other work. With accrued benefits, a member’s service won’t be enhanced.

Enhanced benefits are awarded if the member is assessed as being unable to undertake any type of gainful employment. For members in the final salary arrangements their service will be enhanced, adding half of the prospective service to their normal pension age, with the appropriate accrual rate of 1/80th (NPA60) or 1/60th (NPA65) to derive the final enhancement For members in the career average arrangement it is their accrued earned pension that is enhanced, based on the annual rate of pensionable earnings and half of the prospective service to their normal pension age, with the Accrual rateThe rate at which your pension builds up, based on your pensionable earnings (career average standard rate of 1/57th of pensionable earnings) or pensionable service (final salary 1/80th or 1/60th depending on when you joined and any service breaks you've had). of 1/57th to derive the final enhancement.

Where a member works part-time any enhancement will be calculated using the annual rate of pensionable earnings if the position was full-time. Where a member works more than full-time, the full time equivalent salary is calculated by taking account of the rate for each employer involved.

Where a member’s condition is serious and their life expectancy is severely restricted, i.e. is less than a year, their pension can be paid as a one-off lump sum of approximately five times the initial pension. The member needs to request this when making their application for ill-health retirement to ensure that the request is assessed and paid if appropriate, based on the report from the Schemes’ medical advisor.

What if the member has left pensionable employment?

Provided the member remains in a contractual relationship with you, they’ll be treated as ‘in-service’. If they leave pensionable service due to ill-health and apply for ill-health benefits because of the same illness, within 2 years of leaving, they’ll be treated as still being in pensionable service.

As and when the member reaches their Normal Pension Age, they'll be paid age and not ill-health benefits.  This will not affect the amount of pension they receive.

Last Updated: 07/09/2017 09:47

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