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Ill health retirement

If you have to leave work due to illness you may be able to receive immediate payment of your benefits.  To qualify for ill health benefits, your employer, based on an opinion from an independent specially qualified doctor, must be satisfied that you will be permanently unable to do your own job until your Normal Pension Age and that you are not immediately capable of undertaking gainful employment.  Ill health benefits can be paid at any age and are not reduced on account of early payment - in fact, your benefits could be increased to make up for your early retirement.

There are graded levels of benefit based on how likely you are to be capable of gainful employment after you leave.  The different levels of benefit are:

 

  • Tier 1: If you are unlikely to be capable of gainful employment before your Normal Pension Age, ill health benefits are based on the pension you have already built up in your pension account at your date of leaving the scheme plus the pension you would have built up had you been in the main section of the scheme until you reached your Normal Pension Age
  • Tier 2: If you are unlikely to be capable of gainful employment within 3 years of leaving, but are likely to be capable of doing so before your Normal Pension Age, ill health benefits are based on the pension you have already built up in your pension account at the date of leaving the scheme plus 25% of the pension you would have built up had you been in the main section of the scheme until you reached your Normal Pension Age
  • Tier 3: If you are likely to be capable of gainful employment within 3 years of leaving, or before your Normal Pension Age if earlier, ill health benefits are based on the pension you have already built up in your pension account at leaving.  Payment of these benefits will be stopped after 3 years, or earlier if you are in gainful employment or become capable of such employment, provided you have not reached your Normal Pension Age by then.

 

Gainful employment means paid employment for not less than 30 hours in each week for a period of not less than 12 months.

If you were in the LGPS on 31 March 2008 and were aged 45 or over on that date and you qualify for the type of ill health pension where your benefits are based on enhancement membership, there is protection to ensure your ill health benefits are no less than they would have been under the scheme as it applied before 1 April 2008.