For Members
Teachers' Pensions
Ill Health Retirement

Ill Health Retirement

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Ill- health retirement can be taken if you become too ill to work during your teaching career. This can be taken before your Normal Pension Age (NPA) without the usual reduction applied to an early retirement pension.

Steps for Ill- health retirement

  • To be accepted for Ill-health retirement it’s likely you’ll need to provide medical evidence to support your application. (It is generally expected that those members who need to apply for Ill-health retirement will have had the benefit of a specialist opinion during their illness).
  • You or your employer will have to pay any fees associated with providing that evidence.
  • Your evidence will be considered by the Scheme’s Medical Advisors who’ll make a recommendation as to whether in their opinion you meet the criteria for ill-health retirement.
  • You’ll need to make sure you provide all possible evidence to support your case and that the evidence is current and comprehensive. The Medical Advisors won’t seek any extra medical advice and will only be able to use what is provided to them.
  • If there’s insufficient evidence to allow the Medical Adviser to make a fully considered recommendation, your application for ill-health retirement won’t be accepted.
  • You can download the Ill-health retirement forms on our site.
What if I am diagnosed with a terminal illness?

You need to ascertain what your options are. If you’re on a period of extended sick leave you need to clarify your status in the Scheme. Please note that if you go on to unpaid sick leave, for the purposes of the death grants payable by the Scheme you’ll be considered as remaining "in-service" for a period of 12 months after this (even though you’re in non-pensionable sick leave as you’re receiving less than half your usual pay). But after 12 months have elapsed you’ll be treated as "out-of-service".

This is important as there can be significant differences in your entitlement when comparing an "in-service" death grant to serious Ill-health lump sum (see below) to an "out-of-service" death grant. We recommend that you discuss this with your employer and / or an independent financial advisor before making a decision on what’s best for you and your family.

If you’ve a life expectancy of less than a year, your Ill-health pension can be fully converted to a lump sum payment – known as a serious Ill-health lump sum. You must ask for this when you apply for Ill-health benefits, because a pension can’t be converted to a lump sum once it has come into payment. The lump sum payment will be approximately five times the pension you would be due.

If you apply for and receive such a lump sum payment, then this extinguishes your pension in the Scheme. A pension would still be payable to a qualifying adult or child beneficiaries upon the event of your death.

What if I have left service when I become ill?

If you’re no longer teaching you can download the two application forms you need. You should then return both forms to us along with the detailed medical evidence supporting your application.

If you left pensionable teaching within 12 months of submitting your application, the medical sections of your form still must be completed by your ex-employer.

If you're not in pensionable employment, you’ll have to pay for any costs incurred in providing medical evidence yourself.

The short-service serious ill-health grant

If you’ve a life expectancy of less than a year but haven’t been in service long enough to qualify for ill-health benefits (two years) you may receive a short service ill health grant. This is provided you’ve at least one year of pensionable employment.

Last Updated: 12/11/2019 10:36


Ready to apply? Our forms page has everything you'll need to get started.



Read our Ill-health retirement guide

Download guide


Learn more about re employment after Ill-health.

Download PDF

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