I have just successfully concluded an Ill Health Retirement Appeal for a Teachers’ Pensions client. Read on for more information.
What is Ill Health Retirement?
Many employers offer a benefit to their employees termed “ill-health retirement”. Where available, this benefit can provide immediate access to pension funds if an employee is too unwell to continue working.
Should You Apply For Ill Health Retirement?
The first thing to consider when looking at whether to apply for ill-health retirement is if you have exhausted all other options. This often involves considering if you could work in a modified way, or with reduced hours. However, if you have reached the point of being unable to work, despite having explored all reasonable adjustments, ill health retirement may be right for you.
What Is the Criteria?
Each employer or scheme provider is likely to have slightly different requirements, so it is very important to check the exact details of your scheme. However, looking at Teachers’ Pensions, the criteria for “in-service” applications are as follows: –
- Tier 1 – ill health pension based on any accrued benefits within the scheme. This can be paid if the applicant is incapacitated permanently. As the wording suggests, this means the applicant being permanently unable to teach – but may be able to undertake other work up to normal retirement age.
- Tier 2 – ill health pension based on an enhancement known as total incapacity. This can be paid if the applicant is deemed to be permanently unable to teach PLUS permanently unable to undertake any gainful employment up to normal retirement age. Under this scheme, gainful employment refers to a person’s ability to carry out any work being impaired by more than 90% and that for the impairment to be more than 90% permanent.
How To Apply?
Your employer should be able to guide you through the ill health pension application process. If you have any queries or concerns, your HR department and/or union may also be able to offer support.
Remember that when you submit your application, the burden of proof is on you to demonstrate why you qualify for the ill health retirement benefit. You must ensure your application is supported by clear medical evidence. This could include reports from occupational health, your own GP, and any other treating specialists such as consultants, counsellors, or therapists. It is critical that this evidence is included in your application.
Is The Process Difficult?
The process shouldn’t be too difficult. That said, over the last 17 years we have helped lots of clients who have had their applications unfairly rejected. The most recent example was a Teachers’ Pensions client who was wrongly awarded no benefits, largely due to a lack of medical evidence. When we reviewed the original application and rejection, it was unfortunately clear that insufficient evidence had been submitted as against the scheme criteria. Therefore, as part of our work on the First Appeal, we ensured all relevant medical evidence (that was available at first application stage), was properly set out and explained. Our client’s appeal succeeded, and they were kind enough to leave us the following feedback, along with a 5-star review: –
- “I can’t thank you enough for your support. We are incredibly grateful to you for your hard work”.
- “I got the outcome I wanted, and I feel that if it wasn’t for Sophie I might not have done. I’m very grateful”.
Lincs Law Employment Solicitors Can Help You
If you have started (or are thinking of starting) an application or appeal for ill health retirement, call us for a free, no obligation discussion on 01522 440412 or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org and we would be happy to speak to you. For more information about ill health retirement, visit our website https://lincslaw.co.uk/services/employees/workplace-problems/ill-health-retirement/.
Director & Specialist Employment Law Solicitor
Lincs Law Employment Solicitors