Ill health reitrement

Grateful for any information people have or own experience.  I work in the public sector, in a senior part time role.  Let me say at the outset I know I need to reflect and take my time over important decisions -I am simply trying to get my head round all the options.

I have not taken time off for MS up to now but have got progressively slower at wallking and very disabled.  My line manager has never commented on my obvious difficulties- although other people have.  Despite being on DMD, I have got steadily worse and am three weeks into sick leave as I can barely walk and my arms/hands are so weak I cannot grip a pen properly etc.

I have had a discussion with Occupational health and have tentatively talked in principle about "asjustments".  I am no longer sure that adjustments can be made that make my very hectic job possible - just walking in the building is beyond me right now, Let alone getting to multiple meetings on and off site. I am not just talking about difficult or uncomfortable - I mean shuffling feet, overbalancing, stumbling, two sticks. I was barely mobile before this set-back - it is hard to imagine how I did it three weeks ago.

Am thinking about my options - I know it is early days but it is preying on my mind, thinking about the future.    Is ill  health retirement going to be an option for me - I cannot imagine how I am going to get over this?  How does it work - can I apply or does the proposal have to come from the employer?    Is there a risk I could be dismissed on ill health grounds?   What is the process - how does it work?

My job has always been important to me - financially and in terms of my independence and who I am - just wabt to get ahead of the game and know what my options are.  Any information or experiences welcome.   

Hi there i'm 40 and finished work 3 years ago i stayed on long term sick for 12 months then i decided i was going to finish work for quality of life spoke with my manager and she applied for me to be pensioned off it was done between pensions dept and occupational health and i had to see company doctor.Its only a small pension i get but i also get esa and my relapses seemed to have been reduced since leaving and if i'm not upto doing anything in the day i can just rest so much easier you can't put a figure on your well being. if i can be of anymore help please feel free to message me.

Good luck,

Jenny thumbsup

I too work in the public sector although have spent a few Yeats on private sector, have decided recently that that quality of life and preservation of own health needs to take priority, off sick for six months , phoned pensions sept and they agreed I am entitled to apply for early payments of pension benefits. Done this, awaiting reply, as SSP finishes at 28 weeks you can transfer to claim ESA and you may be entitled to DLA. Good luck do what you thinks best x


I agree you need to think about this and consider all your options carefully.

Have you talked to your HR department, contacted Access to Work (contacted through JobCentre Plus) or spoken to your Union (if you have one)? It would be sensible to get their perspectives.

You don't say how old you are or what type of MS you have.

My personal experience, which may or may not be relevant to you. I was approaching retirement age, have SPMS and worked in local government. I was finding the job increasingly difficult (had to do a fair amount of driving and walking on different sites) and on the advice of my GP was put on long term sick leave. I was referred to OH who began the process of early retirement. Meanwhile, thanks to central governement spending cuts, the opportunity for early retirement with redundancy came along, which I took. I decided to do this as this was a known deal and retirement through ill health can be a bit of a minefield with no guarantees. (Tier 1, ill health retirement would have been a better financial deal but there was no guarantee I would get this)

I was always very work orientated and was apprehensive about a different life style. However I have not looked back and really enjoy being able to do what I want when I want.

Good Luck with whatever you decide to do.



I had to stop working in 2001 due to my MS problems and because I was in a new job they dismissed me after 3 months sick leave. Having being brought up to work and earn my keep I felt guilty for a long time. The hardest thing to is to accept limitations but once you have done this you are then able to create a new life for yourself.

The lack of stress is of huge importance so I would suggest that you consider carefully the best option for you and your body. Request OT evaluation and discussions with HR. You will not be pressured into making any decisions you are not ready for because the law will protect you. If you want to talk to someone outside the organisation take a look at the Disability Now website.

Best wishes



I'm 44 and finished on ill-health last April. I worked for my local council, and I was on long term sick leave from August '08 till November '09. When I went back I reduced my hours to 22 1/2 per week but I ended going on sick leave again in June '10.

In January '11. I had a Capability Meeting and it was decided that I couldn't carry out the duties of my job and there were no alternative jobs available which I could transfer to. So it was decided to terminate my employment and, as I was a member of the pension scheme, to refer my case to an Independent Doctor to decide whether I was entitled to receive early payment of my pension.

Fortunately, the decision was made that I was unlikely to achieve 'gainful employment' (30+ hours per week for 12 months) before I was 65, so I was granted a Tier 1 pension. The decision was also made that, because the reason I had reduced my hours was the same reason I had 'retired', the reduction in hours should be ignored and my pension should be calculated as though I was a full-time employee'. I was quite happy because, without this decision, my pension would have been reduced by approx. £6000 pa.


Good luck with whatever decision you make,



Many thanks to all who replied.  I will continue to reflect about my options - yes I have been in touch with OH, HR and Access to Work.  Just not sure right now what could possibly help me - I have a long journey to work, long day, stressful senior job, multiple meetings on- and off-site and have to perform mental gymnastics at every turn - right now I can hardly walk, struggle to dress myself and can't think beyond the next cup of tea ....  I appreciate all your comments - I think the impact of less stress is the one that really hit home though.THanks to all.

hi lots of good suggestions, and truthfully put yourself first. If you have time to view your options then take it. I have sold my car today and am now on the motability scheme, truthfully have just had a glass of wine as feeling that i have ticked another box in leaving my old life,  but take your time look at your options and hopefully you have the resouces in place to make the right decision for you