Ill Health Retirement Benefits

Ill health retirement
If you have at least two years membership and are too ill to work in your present job you may be able to retire early and take your pension benefits. There are two tiers of Ill health retirement and the benefits you get will depend on whether or not you are capable of undertaking employment elsewhere. The minimum pension age does not apply in the case of ill health retirement. Ill health pensions are increased each April in line with increases in the Retail Price Index.

It may be possible to move between the tiers after retirement where our medical advisers indicate your condition may meet Tier 2 requirements within 3 years of retiring. It may also be possible if your condition is such that it is not possible to determine at the outset whether you will recover sufficiently to undertake any regular work.

If you are terminally ill you may take your benefits immediately as a lump sum. In this case they will be calculated based on Tier 2.

Your benefits may be reduced or withdrawn if you take up further NHS employment after retiring early due to ill health.

You may apply for ill health early retirement by completing a form which you can get from your employer.

If you are a deferred member and you become too ill to undertake regular employment before your normal pension age, you may able to take your pension early without reduction or any enhancement.  If this happens you can download form AW240. This gives more information about what you need to do.

Ill health retirement tiers

1995 section    
Definition Entitlement
Tier 1 Unable to do current job due to permanent ill health Accrued membership without reduction. No enhancement to benefits.
Tier 2 Unable to carry out regular employment due to permanent ill health.

Tier 1 benefits, PLUS an enhancement of two-thirds of your prospective membership to normal pension age.

Minimum membership enhancement of four years or to age 60 (whichever is less) until 2016.

Total membership may not exceed prospective membership at 60.

2008 section    
Definition Entitlement
Tier 1 Unable to do current job due to permanent ill health. Accrued membership without reduction. No enhancement to benefits.
Tier 2 Unable to carry out regular employment due to permanent ill health.

Tier 1 benefits, PLUS an enhancement of two-thirds of your prospective membership to age 65.

Total membership may not exceed prospective membership at 65.

More information is available in the Ill Health Retirement FAQs.