Retirement on health grounds - Fibromyalgia Acti...

Fibromyalgia Action UK

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Retirement on health grounds


Hi. I have fibromyalgia and have recently. been refused early retirement on health grounds by my pension provider. I am with the civil service. I have been off work since Nov 2018. The decision was made via a telephone contact with O.H and my medical record. No face to face contact. I am appealing but wondered what others experiences have been?

6 Replies

Hello there and welcome, the weekend can be quiet on the forum but I hope some members will come along eventually with some advice and experiences , not a good way to communicate over the phone so certaintly can see why you would appeal, ive posted a link if you would like to lock your posts as gives you and members more privacy as only our community can see and not open to any site engines on the internet. Good luck in going forward with this and keep us updated how you get along, take care .



I finished work last year on ill health retirement. All my interviews were face to face, I was allowed a union rep if I wanted one. I was very lucky with the support I had. My boss was brilliant. You could go and see citizens advice as this doesn't seem a very fair way if doing this, definitely appeal. Please let us know how you get on. Take care Lynne

Hi, can I ask how old you are? I also work for the civil service and know what they are like. I keep getting written warnings every time I'm sick which is pretty often, just gone back now after 4 weeks, but in agony with my neck, shoulders and arms so don't know how long for. Had my OH consultation over the phone as well and didn't find them very good to be honest. Good luck with your appeal, let us know how it goes. Sending lots of love, X

NICKYD68 in reply to Jacko37

I am 50. Spent years struggling through... has numerous warning, OH referrals, adjustments to work space and tried working reduced ed hrs. It was not for want of trying as did not want to end out hereat my age. I want to work but have had to face reality of situation. Yes civil service are awful and dont want to pay out pensions if they can find a way round it they will. Keep in touch.

You should involve your Trade Union, if you have not done so already. They will have experience of cases all over the Civil Service and any precedents (similar cases to your own with decisions on appeals that might be used as precedents).

Up-to-date medical reports are useful. For my own medical retirement I saw an independent Consultant in Pain Management who had not treated me or seen me before. He was given access to all of my NHS and other medical records and he examined me. He wrote that I was unlikely to ever work again in any job and expressed surprise in the report that I had managed to continue to age 55 as in his experience, few people with my symptoms were able to sustain working at all. This report cost £4,500 - I had to pay for it myself but if I had worked in a unionised workplace, the Union might have covered it.

The older you are, the more likely medical retirement is, as it costs far less than for younger people. If you are in your 30s or early 40s, a medical retirement with full pension can cost as much as £1million over the remainder of your life, if the pension is being paid early and service is being enhanced or extra contributions are being paid in to the fund by the employer. This is why employers are so unwilling to agree Medical Retirement for younger people.

The pension scheme rules should tell you what you need to know. They will spell out the definition of disability for ill-health retirement and how you qualify for it. Evidence you will need to claim an ill-health pension could include GP records, letters from Hospitals and Consultants, any medical reports on your health, benefit assessments for ESA, PIP or DLA, insurance reports on your health and so on. The onus is on you to demonstrate clearly that you meet the criteria for ill -health retirement. Independent Reports are taken far more seriously than anything from your own GP.

As well as the Civil Service pension, you will be able to claim ESA (Employment and Support Allowance) based on your NI contributions, and the Civil Service decision might help in the ESA claim. You might also be able to get PIP (Personal Independence Payment) if you are not getting it already.

See here for more information


Thanks for the advice.

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