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Information and guidance for public, NHSGGC staff, and community-based services.  Hospital visiting restrictions now in place.

Ill health retirement

A Comprehensive Guide to Attendance Management

SUPPORTING EMPLOYEES OFF SICK

Ill health retirement

If your employee becomes seriously ill, and alternative duties or redeployment isn’t an option, then they may wish to consider applying for ill health retirement.

All you need to know in 30 seconds

  • Familiarise yourself with the application process to help your employee apply for ill health retirement. Forms and Guidance are available on the Scottish Public Pensions Agency Website.
  • To be eligible the employee must be a member of the NHS Superannuation Scheme with at least two years qualifying service.
  • They should apply by filling out form AW8 available on the SPPA website.
  • Supporting evidence is required from OHS.
  • The application is assessed by a medical advisor of SPPA, and if successful the employee will receive their pension.
  • If the employee is diagnosed with a severe condition with less than a year to live, they could be eligible to commute their pension into a one-off lump sum.
  • Be aware that if the employee is unfit to return to work in any capacity, and a decision is being taken to end their employment on this basis, this is separate from the decision-making process for ill health retirements which rests with the medical advisor of SPPA.

All you need to know in detail

Sometimes one of your employees may become very ill and permanently incapable of doing their current job. In these situations you should always look at options for redeployment or alternative duties in the first instance. However if these options are not possible, your employee may wish to apply for ill health retirement.

If a return to work is not possible, you will need to get advice from Occupational Health.
Be aware that discussions around ending employment can be very upsetting for the employee and therefore need to be handled in a sensitive and compassionate way.

Within NHSGGC the decision to end an employee’s employment can only be made by a senior manager (Director or direct report to Director). Seek support from the HR Support and Advice Unit in advance of any meeting at which such a decision may be contemplated.

Be aware that if the employee is unfit to return to work in any capacity, and a decision is being taken to end their employment with NHSGGC on this basis, this is separate from the decision-making process for ill health retirements which rests with the medical advisor of SPPA. This means that if the medical advisor does not approve an ill health application this would not impact on the NHSGGC decision to end employment.

To apply for ill health retirement, your employee:

  • must be a member of the NHS Superannuation Scheme with at least two years qualifying service.
  • The Scottish Public Pensions Agency has information online to help you guide your employee through the ill health retirement online application, including in-depth information on who is eligible to apply.
  • Make yourself familiar with the process, so you can help your employee navigate their way through it as easily as possible. Contact the HR Support and Advice Unit or Occupational Health for information and support.
  • Your employee should fill out form AW8 available on the SPPA website.
  • Applications for ill health retirement should be supported by Occupational Health.
  • The application will then be assessed by a medical adviser from SPPA, and if successful the employee will receive their pension.
  • If the employee is diagnosed with a severe condition and has less than a year to live they could be eligible to commute their pension into a one-off lump sum. Always seek HR advice in these circumstances.
Last Updated: 07 May 2019