Ill health retirement
If you cannot work any longer due to sickness, you may be able to take your pension benefits early, even before the age of 55. This is generally known as taking an ill-health pension.
While it is not possible to receive your state pension before your state pension age, regardless of your state of health, it may be possible to receive some help with your cost of living.
If you are unable to work due to ill health you may be entitled to some state benefits such as Statutory Sick Pay (SSP), Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) or Universal Credit (UC). To check if you are eligible for any help you could visit www.gov.uk/benefits-calculators and use one of the calculators.
If you have a private or workplace pension, you may be able to take benefits from your scheme at any age due to ill health.
Your scheme will have its own definition of what ill-health (sickness) means, but usually you will be considered for an ill-health pension if you're unable to carry out your normal job because you're physically or mentally ill.
If you're 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. A serious ill-health lump sum paid before you reach the age of 75 will be paid tax-free provided you have available lifetime allowance. If you’re over the age of 75, the lump sum will be taxed at your marginal rate of income tax.
Where can I find out more?
If you need more information, please contact us. A pension specialist from our team will be happy to help with whatever pensions-related question you have. Our help is always free.