Teachers' Pensions

Ill-health

Our Frequently Asked Questions below will help you answer many of your common questions about Ill-health.
  • Do the Department for Education Medical Advisors consider applications for ill-health using permanency criteria?

    Accrued Benefits will be awarded if a member is permanently unable to teach but can do other work. Enhanced benefits are awarded if the member is assessed as being unable to undertake any type of gainful employment. With Enhanced Benefits, a member’s service will only be enhanced provided they’re in service at the time of the application.

    The Medical Advisors will recommend whether the member is eligible to receive Accrued Benefits before determining whether they can be awarded Enhanced Benefits. Each case will be looked at on its own merit. Applications and supporting medical evidence will be considered by Medical Advisors appointed by the Secretary of State and the final decision will be made by Teachers’ Pensions.

  • If a member is deemed to be unfit to teach and therefore receives ill-health benefits, can they continue to work in a school in a support role and still receive their benefits?

    If only Accrued Benefits are awarded with the member assessed as being permanently unable to teach but able to do other work, then they may be able to take up a support role.

    However, if the member is awarded  Enhanced Benefits, they must provide the Secretary of State with a certificate from a registered medical practitioner for their benefits to continue to be paid. This must state, that in the opinion of the medical practitioner the member must still meet the medical condition for Enhanced Benefits to be paid.

    If a member is receiving ill-health benefits, it’s because they had been judged permanently medically unfit to teach. So if a member returns to teaching, their ill-health pension must stop immediately.

    You must be satisfied that a member is fit to teach in the capacity required and you and the member must notify us in writing immediately, of any employment undertaken if the member is in receipt of ill-health benefits.

    If a pension is stopped because the member returns to work, the member will only be awarded another ill-health pension if they become ill again and satisfy us that they are unfit to teach. Otherwise they can retire on any other grounds at the appropriate age.

  • What enhancement will be given to members who retire with enhanced ill-health benefits?

    Where a member retires with Accrued Benefits only, there is no enhancement: the pension is calculated based on the service the member has built up in the Scheme.

    Where a member retires with Enhanced Benefits, their benefits are enhanced.

    Under the final salary arrangements the total amount of enhancement is half the service the teacher could have completed before Normal Pension Age (NPA). If a member is in the career average arrangements enhancement is half the service to NPA, multiplied by the member’s salary and divided by 57.

    For more information about this topic, please visit our ill-health section online.

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