Early retirement due to ill health

The pension scheme allows for early retirement due to ill health, but it seems almost impossible to get, has anyone had the experience of of applying for retirement due to ill health, I would be interested to find out about your experience, whether you were successful or not?

my partner took early retirement due to my ill health (hes my main carer) and it was straight forward,he worked for the council.

In my experience, it is usually put forward as an suggestion following an occupational health assessment. If the employer cannot provide ‘reasonable adjustments’ to get someone back into the workplace (as per the Equalities Act), retirement from an occupational pension may be an option.

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do you mean a person`s work pension or the state pension?

I got my work pension at 47, as i was too ill to work. But i was on the sick for 8 months and work wanted me to see a doctor to assess my work capability.


Hi Graham,

I retired recently from the NHS. I’m 46 and have done 20 years service. I was brilliantly supported by my manager, human resources and occupational health. I was relieved to get the enhanced pension which has made a massive difference to my life!

In my case my thought processing skills, my writing skills and my speech (I was a Speech Therapist) meant that the NHS were unable to find me any other job with them.

it was a very emotionally scary process because I felt I was giving up part of myself! 12 months down the line I have a liveable pension alongside DLA, I have moved back to Yorkshire, got a council adapted bungalow with my partner, got engaged and I am so very glad I stepped off the cliff of work. I had no work life balance, I can now spend my life for me and my soon to be husband.

good luck

Sara x

Thanks for your response, so far all of the comments have been encouraging so I am feeling far more confident in applying for an early retirement based on ill health



Hi Graham.

I took ill health retirement from the NHS. It was quite straightforward.

Firstly I had to be off sick for more than 6mths and have an appt with Occ Health and HR to prove that all necessary adaptions had been made to help me continue to work. It was found that no more adaptions could be made and I was offered ill health retirement. I couldn’t actually apply for ill health, it had to be offered to me.

The worse thing about the whole thing for me was having to have my employment terminated before ill health retirement was offered. This had to be done to show that I couldn’t do the work any more.

Hope this helps.

Shazzie x


Thanks for your response, I am a bit nervous of the idea of the job finishing before being offered early retirement due to ill health, in case they ten turn around and say you don’t qualify for it, but if that is the only way then there may be no alternative.




I was offered Ill Health Early Retirement (IHER) after Occupational Health and HR reviewed my options.There was also a benefit to the company which was planning “Right sizing” so my IHER did not sit on the books and budget in the same way that redundancy would.

When the right people in those departments got together and coordinated their plans it was pretty easy, I felt very supported.

Good luck


If my occupational health say I’m not fit to do my substantive grade, should I qualify for I’ll health pension?