This month we focus our attention on ill-health and the impact on a teacher’s career. There are periods of ill health that are temporary, where your pension remains unaffected. As long as you continue to receive your salary, your pension contribution will be paid. In the recent COVID pandemic, this fact offers much peace of mind.
If you are incapable of teaching due to injury or illness and satisfy specific criteria, you could claim ill-health retirement benefits. However, if you cannot continue working due to ill-health, you may need to apply for ill-health retirement. This ill-health retirement will allow you to retire before your Normal Pension Age (NPA).
Before you begin, you and your employer should seek an occupational health appointment to see if there are ways that your employment could be adapted to allow you to continue working. There may be ways that you could work fewer hours or for you to take on less responsibility.
In short, ill-health retirement is a significant decision and should only be contemplated where there are no other options. This is how medical experts view your application; therefore, support from an occupational health advisor and your employer is essential in the first instance.
Making the move
Teaching is a challenging career when you are in full health. Therefore, it feels impossible to work on with a chronic illness or one that is likely to shorten your life. Your first move will be to talk with your line manager. There is no need to struggle, and you are likely to be offered a lot of support in your plans to make your life easier.
The content in this article was correct on October 31st 2021. You should not rely on this article to make important financial decisions. Teachers Financial Planning offers advice on pensions for teachers and non-teachers. Please use the contact form below to arrange an informal chat with an advisor and see how we can help you.