If you are suffering from ill health which stops you from working (which we refer to as incapacity), you may be allowed to start taking your pension at any age (i.e. before the minimum retirement age, 55). Incapacity is ill health that the Trustee believes is serious enough to prevent you from following your normal occupation and seriously impairs your earning ability.
If the Company supports your application and the Trustee agrees to you retiring as a result of incapacity (after you have provided acceptable medical evidence), the value of your Pension Account will be increased. This increase is equal to one month’s Pensionable Earnings for each complete year you could have continued to work for the Company from the date of your ill health retirement up to the Scheme’s Normal Retirement Age of 65 (subject to a maximum of 24 years).
If the Trustee believes that your ill health is so serious that you will be unable to work for the Company, for any other employer or for yourself at any level of pay, this is known as total incapacity. In this case, the increase to your Pension Account will be equal to three months’ Pensionable Earnings for each complete year you could have continued to work for the Company from the date of your ill-health retirement to the Scheme’s Normal Retirement Age of 65. Under total incapacity, the 24 year maximum does not apply.
You are only able to apply for ill health retirement if you have provided the medical information explained here and if the medical condition you are claiming for has not been notified to you as an exclusion.
The increase to your Pension Account is not invested and will be added to the value of your Pension Account when your benefits are settled. You will have the same retirement options available to you as if you were retiring normally and the increase will be added even if you decide to transfer your Pension Account to take the benefits flexibly.
If you are unable to work and would like to apply for ill health retirement, please speak to your local HR to discuss your circumstances.