Forum

Ill Health Retirement in Local Government Pension Scheme

Hello

Information on Ill Health Retirement in the Local Government Pension Scheme is sadly lacking, I am 45 years with Multiple Sclerosis and I have yet to have a diagnosis into what MS type I have got, the symptons I have got is crushing fatigue and balance problems as well as problems with walking.

Work is getting tougher, cuts in staff and more work, now in our team of six one person has been out on maternity leave and is not due back until next February when she comes back she is talking about just working in term time, another one of the team has just gone part time, having every other Friday and Monday off, another one in the team has just got another job and starts that at the end of February so from a team of six we will just have three persons left in our very small team.

I feel I really do need some help, I cannot afford to go off on ill health but I am going to end up going off with stress if I am going on for much longer, nobody seems to care and all my manager seems to think of is seeing how much more work she can get out of me.

HELP.

Hi Emerald,

That sounds like an unstable and stressful environment to be in. You may wish to calll the MS Society and Disability Law Service- which provides free, confidential legal advice for people with MS. The MS Legal Officer can advise on employment, disability discrimination and welfare benefits.

Sometimes it’s peace of mind to know where you stand & what your options are. The worrying is the worst.

msadvice@dls.org.uk or 020 7791 9800 (press option 1)

Alternatively (or maybe additionally) please call our helpline if you want to talk through how this is affecting you emotionally (0808 800 8000)

Hope that helps + hope things improve for you…

Best

Stewart (admin)

Hello, Stewart gives you very good advice. It’s important to remember that you don’t need to be on your own. Are you in a union? When I was working, I took the time to make a very detailed list of the way MS affected my job-no stone left unturned-even toilet breaks and the accessibility of the loos! This (MS) site also has a well ordered, clear list of symptoms which helped me with my own list. Your employers should also have occupational health-you may need your employer’s co-operation to approach them however. Perhaps the union could advise on this. I retired last year on ill-health grounds. While my income is now rather modest, I can have some really quiet relaxing days. Best wishes, Steve.

Hi

I worked in local government before taking voluntary redundancy, although I had already started the process of early retirement through ill health.

You’ve already had some excellent advice.

I found HR, my managers and union to be really helpful and supportive. Although that will vary between local authorities and departments. Have you had an Occupational Health referral? You may also find Access to Work, contactable through Job Centre Plus, to be very helpful.

Good Luck!

Anne

I recently retired on ill health grounds from the Local Authority and found the whole process stress free. I went off and within a couple of months had been referred to OH for assessment. They chatted about the effect MS had on me, especially fatigue, and agreed that even a move to a less stressful job would not improve things. Long and short of it is It was recommended that ill health retirement was appropriate and my pension was enhanced to age 65 which was a boost as I am 56 so ended up with a decent pension considering I had only been with them for 6 years. Although the stress levels are less and the fatigue is not so much of an issue I find I am pretty fed up and so am looking for a part time job to occupy my time but something which is relatively stress free. My advice would be to go for it if you can. You may find the benefits far outweigh the downsides. Gary

I’m sorry to hear that your manager is not taking your health problems into consideration. Have you made her fully aware of how your MS impacts on your work? It doesn’t matter whether you have been told what type of MS it is, a diagnosis of MS means you are covered under the Equality Act from the moment you disclose your illness to your employer.

If having a frank discussion with her gets you nowhere then you may well have to contact your union, Access to Work or Occupational Health.

There is an excellent publication available on this website (just look a little further down from the MS Support page, at the very bottom you will find publications) called MS and Work. After reading it, I took a copy into work and left with our HR person (I’m also in local government) so they could have a flick through and would be fully aware of what could be done to support me. It’s a very useful booklet which helps you to ask for things in the right way so that it doesn’t seem negative.

It is a very worrying time at the moment working in local government with the cuts and minimal pay rises (if any). I hope you get things sorted soon, the extra stress won’t be helping your symptoms.

Tracey x