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Ill-health retirement

Your scheme may allow you to take your benefits or open your pot early, on grounds of sickness. 

Click here to find out more about sickness benefits

What counts as sickness or incapacity will vary from scheme to scheme, and the decision to grant an ill-health pension may lie with the company, the trustees or both. 

The decision to grant an ill-health pension must be in accordance with the scheme rules and supported by medical evidence. 

When making a decision to grant an ill-health pension, the person or people making the decision must:

  • ask the correct questions;
  • act in accordance with the law and with the scheme rules; and
  • only take relevant factors into account. 

In addition, they must not come to a decision that no reasonable person could come to. 

If you have been refused an ill-health pension, you can only challenge the decision if the person or people making the decision have not followed these principles. 

Click here to visit our publications page and download our leaflet - ill health early retirement.

If you are in serious ill-health (you have less than a year to live), you may be able to take the whole of your pension pot as a lump sum.  Special tax treatment applies.  Click here to find out more about this.

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