Do I give up work? Ill health early retirement

Hi all,

Have not posted in this forum for nearly 9 years but I am now at a crossroads in my life. I am 36, have had MS for 12 years, a single mum and a teacher (2 days a week) but I am finding teaching too challenging as a class teacher. I have costed everything including an early pension etc and it seems as though I would be better off retiring as opposed to reducing my hours. Has anyone had any experience of this or could give me any advice? I am assuming you can claim ESA as well as receiving your pension? (probably a silly question!)

Thanks in advance, Emma

I don’t know about such things but its possible that an ill health retirement for a teacher would be based on final salary? and that therefore reducing those hours would reduce what you would get later? Probably need to get definative answer on that from the your pension people. I am not sure what the score is with Esa with regards to other income, my wife was clearly not fit for any sort of work but was found fit enough by dwp and had to sign on to jobseekers for a while before appeal accepted and eventually winning tribunal over a year later.It isn’t as easy as some think!

If you can give up work and not suffer financially then you have your answer. Im quite sure that if you receive ESA it wont affect your pension.

Your Union should be able to give good advice.

I took early retirement. Lump sum allowed me to pay off remaining mortgage. I still work supply, as many days as I choose.

Are there any reasonable adjustments the school could do to keep you at work. I would guess reducing your hours would affect your pension adversely. I would question whether or not being on a pension will affect the amount of ESA you would get. I think it does. If things are getting too much don’t just resign but get signed off by your g.p. After being off from work for so long your employer will become involved and you can take things from there. (remember the propriety is your needs not the needs of the school)

Hello Emma.

I took retirement on health grounds from primary school teaching.

The head agreed to refer me to occupational health who declared me too ill.

It took six months after that to get the actual retirement. I was assessed by Access to Work and offered all sorts but I was too far gone. It was the thing to do and in many ways I was relieved but suffered with anxiety and confidence.

If you’ve done the sums give up. I get my pension, DLA and ESA.

Steve. x

Dear Emma.

I am currently signed off from teaching. If you are currently too weak to work, (don’t reduce your hours further, I was advised against this) get your GP to sign you off first. 100 days full pay, then 100 days half pay or get your GP to request amended hours for a while.

That gives you time to seek advice from your Union. And if you are not in one, join one now online.

HR support the school, Occ Health support the school and you, but your union will support you first.

Remember the school have a duty to apply reasonable adjustments, which could include rest times, there is also Access to work payments/aids

The school might choose to dismiss through ill health (might be beneficial), however, your union might seek a payment settlement too.

i would imagine that last eight years of your pension would only be the average scheme, so check your figures on the teacher pensions website (I am sure that you have already).

A good quality pension/investment company would also advised re. Pensions through ill health.

i cannot see myself returning to teach and am currently asking my Union rep to be my advocate and help me out, what I thought would be straight forward is more detailed and complicated and I no longer have the concentration or energy for it all.

very best of luck Ali

You can claim ESA while receiving a private pension, for every £1.00 over £85.00 per week you receive in your private pension 50p will be deducted from your ESA. ESA is not affected by PIP. Jan x

Good morning everyone I was diagnosed wit RRMS in 2000 & am now having mobility & cognitive problems mixed with bouts of fatigue. It was suggested to me that redeployment may be an alternative. I have not looked into this before so excuse my ignorance but can anybody inform me whether pay protection applies to redeployment? Many thanks in advance.


would redeployment mean a change in your conditions of employment?

get advice from your union.

if you don’t have confidence in your rep then get advice from somewhere else.

Hello Emma, I have recently took ill health retirement from teaching. I am 39 and was working two days at time of retirement but worked more in the past. It was a long process and pretty stressful but worth it. I would be happy to help you with any questions you may have. I was awarded tier 2 retirement which means I get half of why I would h e got as a pension if I had worked to retirement age…all quite complicated!also, if you have ever reduced hours or responsibilities due to you Ms then they will base everything on your highest salary before you had to step down. I have had MS for 15 years and I was totally unable to cope with the demands of work any more, I loved my job so was gutted at first and it is been a huge adjustment but has been the right move for me. Best of luck and feel free to ask questions!xx

Hi Emma,


​Should be The Pension Service - The Pensions Advisory Service