ill health retirement.

Hi All

I am having a bit of trouble at work, have been of since Aug 2011 and they are thinking of offering me ill health retirement, I think this is the easy get for them. I am very unsure what to do for the best, do I let them push me down that route? or fight for my job? Very unsure what ill health retirement entails as I get conflicting options.

The occupational health have told work i need more time i.e. till Aug 2012 till we look at ill health retirement, I have had MS for 17 years and this is my second time off work due to MS, I sometime think well at 52 maybe it’s time for me to pack it.

My MS nusre, GP and OT are being very hepful in this matter but i would like hear from people who have first hand experience.

How as anybody else found work and ill health retirement? Thank you



Ill health retirement is very hard to come by because of the cost implications. I would find out the financial implications for yourself first. But you also need to consider what if any, reasonable adjustments your employer can make.

However do bear in mind that a reduction in hours will mean less pay so it is possible that your pension and other retirement benefits could be affected. A lot to take into consideration. But do not take any action before you have considered the implications.


I sort of took ill health retirement when I took voluntary redundancy but it was the right time for me.

Don’t let work push you into something you are not ready for. Take your time, you are ONLY 52, get as much advice as you can, your union (if you have one) HR at work, even give the MS helpline a ring 0808 800 8000. Do you have support from Access to Work? If not, contact them, they are brilliant.

One thing to think about: are there retirement packages available now that will not be in a few years time?

If you have RRMS then you may well be feeling better in a couple of months. Don’t forget OH said you needed more time.

It was definitely the right thing for me to do, but it may not be for you. From my experience, I knew when the time was right for me to go. You sound uncertain.

Good Luck!


It’s a very individual decision; one that cannot be imposed on you unless you have been on sick leave for about 1 year and management have tried all the correct procedures laid out in the Equalities Act.

A synopsis of this can be found on

You should find out if the finances; perhaps lump sum; perhaps you may be able to commute some of your pension; and an immediately paid pension; will it be enough to live on?

Myself it was an easy decision; I was sick and tired of passengers wanting to punch your lights out because their bag is missing off a flight. Once; years ago it was Mohamed Ali; good job I was a trained Baggage Tracing Agent; kept my cool otherwise I would have knocked him out. I think you realise I am kidding; he was the Greatest without question and the nicest to talk to.

With pensions going the way they are at present if yours is based on last salary go for it. If there’s any legal or other problem you want to find out about contact

It’s only a decision you can make but remember don’t worry about something you do; only worry about something you don’t do.

Good luck; whatever you decide will be right for you.


Getting the me, me, me, over with; I was pensioned out of Merseyside Fire Brigade 10 years ago. I didn’t put up a fight 'cos I wouldn’t have got much support to stay as an office wallah, and driving fire engines would have been a real larf,not that I was ever going to be operational again.

I would advice working out your finances and getting out if you can afford it.You would be free to choose a pace of life which suits you and you could play ‘do it while you can’.I did and I’m so glad.

Good luck, Wb

Obviously all the financial implications need to be taken into account but I think you are also asking for personal experiences.

I took ill health retirement recently and am in two minds about it - on the one hand, I wish I had taken it earlier when I had more mobility etc but since retirement, I am finding it increasingly difficult to maintain the mobility I have and I wonder if it was making the effort to work that was keeping me going.

The financial implications of early retirement are obvious but the emotional ones are very real too.

I took ill health retirement many years ago and can honestly say that I don’t regret it. It was a huge relief when I actually made the decision and it has been liberating to set life at my own pace not try march to the beat of someone else’s drum.

However it has to be said that there are downsides such as loneliness and boredom. An O T said to me recently that if you are not careful MS can be all about giving up things. You have to try and replace the things you can no longer do with something that you can. I gave up work and got a much longed for dog. The need to get up every day and take the dog for a walk (on my scooter) keeps me going. I also did voluntary work until I was no longer able.

I think it is important not to become a couch potato but to plan SOMETHING – even if it is a very small something to replace the structure of work.


Hi Chris

I think it is a really personal decision but I have made a decision to take the advice of my Occupational Health Dept at my work who recommends ill health retirement. I have been struggling to stay in work for the past 8 years. Pretending that I am coping ok only to knock myself back and having to have time off every two weeks for about 3 days to recooperate and gear myself up for more work. My family and myself have decided that this is not helping me so I am going to retire at 52 if I can.

After 8 years of fighting hard to stay in work, I realise now that it is time for me to spend the energy I have enjoying life with my family and friends rather than using it to work and then be exhausted. I am not giving up the fight though as I am sure this helps us carry on. I just don’t want to fight to stay in work if I can help it as it is making me tired which, as you know, doesn’t help the symptoms off the MS.

I have had lots of support from my employer, family and friends and I really hope you get all the support and advice you deserve.

Take care.

Shazzie x