Is it now the time for ill health retirement? Scared

Hi everyone
I haven’t posted in a long while. Ive had RRMS diagnosed 18 years ago Im now 50. I have a very stressful management role and work full time. Throughout the last couple of years my MS has worsened (along with colitis and arthritis). Over the past year my MS nurse and consultant have said I am now moving into progressive and they have advised me to consider either reducing my working hours by 50% or seek ill health retirement due to my worsening symptoms, Im in a LGPS. Reducing to 50% financially is not an option as this would affect my pension too much. Im scared i have no idea where to start and for what the future holds. Has anyone been through ill health retirement and been successful especially at tier 1? Throughout the years ive had adjustments in my rolw etc and permanently work from home now. Any advice would be so grateful at this new stage of the MS battle. Thank you

I haven’t taken early retirement but I’m no longer working. I have Income Protection Insurance through work.
After an original declinature from my employers insurers I produced more medical evidence and my claim was finally accepted .
This was quite a battle when I was feeling really unwell.
I have an annual review and the Insurers basically just ask for updated medical records.
They have agreed to continue paying 66 % of my salary as my symptoms have progressed and I have other medical issues too.
I also claim PIP so this also helps.
You find you soon become used to a lower income.
I can say I feel so much better mentally not having to work in a stressful environment anymore. It was killing me to be honest.
I was going to walk away with nothing thank goodness I didn’t.
I no longer sweat the small stuff and feel life is too short.
I intend to spend as much as I can of the savings me and my husband have worked so hard for to have the best life we possibly can whilst we can still enjoy it.
You will know yourself if you should stop working and if it is financially possible I recommend doing so .
Take care

1 Like

Hi Molly
At the moment I am off work sick since the end of August.
MS has stepped up a bit and the MS physio and nurse think there has been a bit of progression.
I have been advised by everyone including my headteacher to continue with the sick lines 6 month full pay followed by 6 months half pay and let the council approach me about early retirement. Apparently its a long process and not always straightforward but with our doctors etc on board surely it should be something which can be resolved as we do not ask to be this way.
Hope things settle for you soon.
Maryx

1 Like

Hello, my history is very similar to yours.I like you am having to make a decision about what to do next. I can feel I am not operating at the same level and things are getting harder. I do need to see if I can claim anything with wrk or if I just need to give up.
Its tough as I used t really love my job but not it just doesn’t feel the same

James I totally empathise with you. I really want to do the what’s best all round and I get when my ms nurse/physio say it’s kinda like a grieving process when this working part of life has to change/come to an end. I truly love my job but just know I cannot do it the way I once did and it fills me with dread if I ever have a fall/trip when in school. I’m not really sure how this will work out ,time will tell.
Take care
Maryx

If you’re in a final salary scheme, you’re right to be cautious about reducing your hours. ‘Think pension’ is definitely the right thing to do here. It sounds like time to go. It is not always necessary for a person to be off sick for months or longer (or at all) for IHR to be an option. Sometimes people reach the end of the road quite suddenly after soldiering on heroically for years but obviously struggling, and Occupational Health and other key players understand that. They might tell you that they thought you would never ask! I hope it all works out for you.

Thank you for the updates they are really helpful.It hard to understand the best thing to do - try and get redundancy, maybe take time off sick before earlier retirement.
As you say after working hard and enjoying it all of the options are rubbish. Just aware I am making mistakes not to mention the moving around!!!

Lots to consider

1 Like

James, I truly hope things are resolved quickly for us and anyone in a similar position.
My heart has me going back but honestly I feel the time has maybe come to stop working?
I have just had 2 colleagues up for a wee coffee after their work and they were both happy to see me still “me” but kinda shocked at how “wobbly” I’ve become.
I’ll continue with all my exercises sent by physio and follow all the advice I’ve been given. Time will tell and I’ll keep you posted.
Take care
Much love
Maryx

Sorry for the very late reply! Me too and I feel I cant contribute the way I used to. Im definitely going into the SPMS stage and have been taken off DMD now. A new chapter!