Ill Health retirement

I’m a teacher about to apply for ill health retirement - my contract will be terminated due to lack of capability just before hand - my union have advised its better for me financially to do it this way, although I am told this is still no guarantee I will get my pension approved. I have the support of my GP and neurologist who have completed the application forms for me recommending the top tier pension i.e. saying that I am unfit for sustained employment in any job. The whole process is really stressful and I’m scared in case the pension agency will find a way of turning me down and I’ll be left with nothing (apparently its Atos who go through the evidence). Has anyone been through the process and did anyone get turned down and have to appeal. What reasons did they give to turn you down? Its all so worrying.

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Indygirl, this may be of use.

Thanks for this. I’m hoping everything will be ok - but want to be prepared just in case.

I thought that if a teacher retired on ill-health grounds he/she got a pension from the Education Department as a matter of course. This was based on the years served as a teacher plus any enhanced years awarded. There was only one level of pension. What you mustn’t do is just resign and then apply for a pension.

No, there’s 2 levels. One, if you can’t work at all which is number of years service plus half the number of years till retirement age. Or, if you can work but not teach which is based on the number of years service.

They can refuse you altogether - a friend had to apply three times before she was granted the lower level (not MS)

I was fortunate(!) and got the higher level as I’m PPMS. I was told by HR that I was the only one in her memory to have got this level.

But, I agree don’t resign. My pension was put in place to coincide with the end of my full entitlement to full and half pay sick leave.


Hi Sarah, I know about the 2 levels of pension. I am really hoping financially for the top tier but worried that I wont get it. My GP and the neurologist have both filled out application forms and I have a letter from the ms nurse. My GP talks about how things have been ‘progressive’ as there has been a marked deterioration in my symptoms but the Neurologist specifies relapsing and remitting ms although he states that my remissions have been incomplete. They both recommend the top tier pension saying things are unlikely to improve and likely to deteriorate. I just feel as if the pensions agency will be looking for any ways they can avoid paying out and Im trying to ensure all bases are covered. I was advised by the union to wait until my contract was terminated due to lack of capability as this would support my claim and also my employer would have to give me three months pay in lieu of notice. My application should therefore be in at the end of the month - its all the waiting and worrying and not knowing where I am going to stand financially - its excruciating!

How did you solve this situation? My wife is dealing with the same issues right now, and we don’t know what to do.