If you have left employment, how you apply for an ill-health benefit depends on how long since your pensionable service ended. Pensionable service means any teaching you have done where you have made contributions to the Teachers’ Pension Scheme. There are different ways to apply for those within two years of leaving pensionable service to those beyond this time limit.
Those applying within two years of leaving pensionable service
Even when you are on sick leave and still receiving half-pay, you will be in pensionable employment. However, if you have exceeded the period for receiving sick pay and no longer receive a salary, you are not in pensionable service. Even though you may still have a contract to teach with that organisation, as you are not receiving a salary from which pension contributions are paid, you are considered out of service.
If you are still within this pensionable service window, you will make an in-service application. As part of this application, you and your employer will send in forms applying for this benefit. You will also need to complete an ill-health retirement medical information form, part of which will be completed by a medical practitioner.
If you were in two jobs, both offering pension contributions to the Teachers’ Pension Scheme, both employers would need to submit the form. Each employer will also need to submit medical information separately.
Those applying more than two years after leaving pensionable service
If you haven’t taught and contributed to the Teachers’ Pension Scheme for more than two years, you will make an out-of-service application. You will complete Part A of the form, and your medical practitioner will complete part B.
It is worth noting that any application for an ill-health benefit requires medical evidence. Your employer may send you to an occupational health advisor for independent verification of your health. If you are worried about the process, you may want to approach a union representative to help you through this process. Considering you are already struggling with health, it is likely a good idea to ask for independent support in this evidence gathering.
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.