You can apply for ill health retirement if you have to leave your job early because you’re too ill to work.

Criteria for ill health retirement

To qualify for ill health retirement, you must:

  • have at least two years’ qualifying service; and
  • have suffered a breakdown in health that is likely to stop you working until retirement age

You can read more about your pension scheme’s ill health retirement criteria in our Ill Health Retirement Guide for Members.

How to apply for ill health retirement

First, you should speak to your employer. Your employer must tell you about your right to apply for ill health retirement and if they intend to refer you for it. 

Your manager or HR department will guide you through each stage of the ill health retirement application process. 

You and your employer will need to complete the IHR1 - Application for an Ill Health Retirement Assessment form.

The What to Expect Guide to Ill Health Retirement tells you what’s involved in each stage of the application and how long things usually take.

More information about the ill health retirement application process be found in the Ill Health Retirement Guide for Members.

The Scheme Medical Adviser (SMA)

When a medical condition is severe enough to warrant ill health retirement, it’s generally expected that you’ll have had a specialist opinion during your illness.

During the ill health retirement process, you’ll also need to be assessed by our Scheme Medical Adviser.

Early Payment of Preserved Award (EPPA)

This only applies to classic scheme members.

If you leave employment before retirement age and preserve your classic pension, you can apply to receive your pension benefits before retirement age if your health breaks down after leaving.

Read the 'Early Payment of a Preserved Award' section in the Ill Health Retirement Guide for Members for advice about the eligibility criteria and the procedure for applying for early payment.

To apply you’ll need to complete EPPA1 - Application for Early payment of a Preserved Pension Medical Assessment.

How to appeal a decision

If you’re application for ill health retirement is unsuccessful you can appeal the decision. Please read the Medical Reviews and Appeals Guide for guidance on how to appeal.

You will need to complete APP1 - Appeal Against Medical Retirement Decision to appeal your decision.