Ill health retirement

Information about the ill health retirement process and acquiring medical certificates.

What is the ill health retirement process?

If a member has to leave work due to illness then they may be able to receive immediate payment of their benefits.

To qualify for ill health benefits the member must have met the 2 years vesting period in the scheme and as the employer, based on an opinion from an independent occupational health physician appointed by yourself (the employer), must be satisfied that the member will be permanently unable to do their own job until the Normal Pension Age (NPA) and that they 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, the members benefits could be increased to make up for their early retirement. It has graded levels of benefit based on how likely the member is to be capable of gainful employment after they leave.

The three tiers for Ill Health are detailed below:

  • Tier 1 - if the member is unlikely to be capable of gainful employment before their Normal Pension Age, ill health benefits are based on the pension a members has already built up in their pension account at their date of leaving the scheme plus the pension they would have built up, calculated on assumed pensionable pay, if they had been in the main section of the scheme until they reached your Normal Pension Age.
  • Tier 2 - if the member is unlikely to be capable of gainful employment within 3 years of leaving, but are likely to be capable of undertaking such employment before their Normal Pension Age, ill health benefits are based on the pension they have already built up in their pension account at their date of leaving the scheme plus 25% of the pension they would have built up calculated on assumed pensionable pay, had they been in the main section of the scheme until they reached their Normal Pension Age.
  • Tier 3 - if the member is likely to be capable of gainful employment within 3 years of leaving, or before their Normal Pension Age if earlier, ill health benefits are based on the pension they have already built up in your pension account at leaving. Payment of these benefits will be stopped after 3 years, or earlier if the member is in gainful employment or become capable of such employment, provided they have not reached their Normal Pension Age by then. If the payment is stopped it will normally become payable again from their Normal Pension Age but there are provisions to allow it to be paid earlier.

The below link details further information regarding Ill Health Retirements from page 25 onwards.

Retirement Benefits July 2016 (pdf 29.3mb opens in new window)

If you require any further information on this process, then please call the retirements team on (01482) 394113.

How does an employer acquire a medical certificate from an Independent Registered Medical Practitioner (IRMP)?

Regulation 35 of the Local Government Pension Scheme Regulations 2013 requires an employer to obtain a medical certificate from an approved independent registered medical practitioner qualified in occupational health medicine (IRMP) before deciding whether a LGPS member meets the requirements to receive their pension benefits on ill health grounds.

The Secretary of State has issued ill health statutory guidance which IRMPs must have regard to when completing the medical certificate and employers must have regard to when deciding whether a LGPS member meets the ill health criteria. The IRMP must have been approved by the East Riding Pension Fund before completing the medical certificate.

All decisions regarding ill health benefits need a certification by a IRMP, including those who have already left local government and are asking for early release of their pension. The LGPS regulations require this.

Useful Q&As which IRMPs may find helpful can be found below on Page 9.

DCLG - Frequently Asked Questions - Ill Health Retirement (pdf 235kb opens in new window)

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