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I want to retire due to ill health

Hi everyone,

I have come to the conclusion that working full time is very stressful and exasperated my condition, continually causing lupus to flare. my doctor then increase my medications which controls the flare I then take some time off work and reduce the medication gradually and for a couple of months my lupus is controlled and I feel well again. I return to work as a housing manager a very stressful environment and my flare starts again. It's a vicious circle of being sick, attempting to manage my condition working full time and failing at both. I feel as though I have no options but to consider early retirement due to ill health as I do not believe I can continue to work and manage my health. I am 52 years old always worked full time including some evenings meetings and have always managed to cope well in the past. In the last 2 years I have struggle to even get out of bed in the mornings and the brain fog thing is making life impossible cause I have a hard time remembering things. Where do I start and what is the possibility of me being successfully retired?

I am part of work private pension scheme but don't know of ant other benefits I could possibly apply for.

12 Replies

Hey Glen1, you actually now qualify for disability, especially that your illness is interfering with you job duties, that are causing your illness to become worst. As a matter of fact, I am in process of filing now, but I don't actually want to collect on it. I am praying for a full remission from lupus and have plans of entering into new opportunities that is quite different from my current occupation. Though, currently I am not working. It is difficult when you have good weeks and then things go southward. Battling the fatigue, tiredness, drugged feeling, brain fog, and nauseating feelings is a lot to deal with. Never mind that at our age (I am 50) we experience hormone changes, at least i am, and wearing long sleeves in Texas climate to protect myself from the sun is a lot to adjust to suddenly.

I suggest that you check with the social security office, go on line. You can actually apply on line. They will most likely deny you at first, but appeal it and you should qualify 2nd time around based on diagnosis and what you wrote on the above post. Glen1, your life is more important than the work your employer expects you to do. If you are gone they will simply find someone else to carry on with those responsibilities. Do the best you can, take time off work if you must, but look into everything before you make a drastic move that will affect your finances. Things will get better, but take it from me, stop stressing, stress kills.


Hi Glen, I have just gone through this but I was off sick when I did it. First I spoke to Occ Health about ill health retirement, then checked what my private pension would be. When my wage was about to run out I applied for ESA and PIP and was successfull with both. I also have a blue badge.

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Thank you for the advice. I am currently off work sick for the past couple of months & work referred me to Occ health. Need to contact my private pension next. So I think am on the right course and just hope that I am just as successful as you. take care xx


Hi Glen ,I had to retire from nursing. I had no idea what to do. I was off sick first, I went to see occ health doctor who tried to return me part time. They also looked at other roles I could do. The occ health doctor got my permission to get reports from my consultants and go, to apply for I'll health retirement. I could get six months full pay whilst off then six months half pay, at this point apply for income support(or whatever its called now). I didn't know this and struggled for money. You can call your pension provider and they will give you a projection of what you can get. Also you can apply for an income support top up based on your contribution of earnings.

Although you like I do not want to do this I in hindsite advise you go to your gp a sign off work first then get an appointment to occ health. Good luck

PS do you have a union they could advise.

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Thank you for the advice and support most of you advice I have done or in the process of doing. It's good to know others have successfully taken the same decision to retire early. Am not alone xx


First find out what your organisations process is for applying for ill health retirement as they do vary. Usually the first step is a visit to occupational health which may offer suggestions to support you, for example part time work. You and your organisation will need to then agree and give the suggestions a go. Pending the outcome you can either continue or carry on to stop work which will involve another visit possibly to occupational health. Then if you are under statutory retirement age you will need to apply to your pension provider. This all applies to the UK.

It is quite a long process, I paid to have all doctors letters etc to send off with my application.

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Hi jamg3961,

Thank you for the advice, from all the advice received it seems like i am on the right track. I Realise the process is long but will let you know how I get on. Take care xx


Hi Glen,

I have a similar story. I am 62 and have SLE I had struggled at work for years. I worked for a local government.

How important would your lack of wages be. For me I couldn't retire till I had my state pension. You should be able to get your works pension aged 55 but it may be reduced. You can't get your state pension till the due date. Go to the UK.Gov pensions web site. Have a good look around at all they can tell you.

Please get your union involved. You would get sick pay for a year 6 months full then 6 months half. Minus whatever you've had in sick pay in the last 12 months. Check your employers sick leave policy. While your there check their pension policies. At present keep telling them you want to return to work and you think you will be able to.

Last year I had some periods of sick leave I tried to return to work at Christmas then again in Jan but couldn't do it.

In my opinion, but you must check out all the details for yourself, stay on sick leave as long as you can. When works sick pay goes to half you'll get half pay and government sick pay. You will have to apply for that.

My union suggested why did I not say I can't continue anymore at my next sickness review ask to be referred to occ health, Ask them to support the deterioration in your health and ask to be retired on ill health grounds. Go to meetings take your union. This is the time to say how ill you truly are. Don't contest the decision to retire you on ill health grounds. tell them you just can't work any more. They may try to offer part time work but that will effect your pension. Tell them at present you couldn't even do that. If you want to work again check how being finished on ill health grounds would effect references ect. Your union should help with that.

Don't what ever you do just resign. If your employers are like mine you will get 3 months full pay in lieu of notice, even if you have gone to half pay.

So I was told on 12 June I was to be retired on ill health grounds. I officially retired on Sept 3rd. I get a last little bit of wages at the end of this month plus holiday pay for this year.

So I am retired now I've had my work pension a few years and I get my state pension. I am so happy no more stress. Money is tight but hey ho I'm still here to tell the tale.

If you will get a pension lump sum from you employer that might help you through as well.

I wish you all the very best of luck. Don't go down without a fight. Don't just leave. Please check out for yourself all the information I've given you it's too important not to.

As for disability benefits I don't have any. It seems quite hard to get in the uk. If you get any please tell me how you got it.

If there's anything you need clarification on don't hesitate to in box me I'd love to help. Good luck along the road. Xxx

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Hi Friendly2013,

Thank you for the great advice, I have just realised how much more work I still need to do. Lack of wage wouldn't be a great hindrance as you can't put price on your health. Having quality of life is far more important to me. Will check out the government pension website as I was hoping to get both my work & state pensions early if that was possible. I have worked full time for over 35 years & paid NI contributions throughout. Currently I work for a housing association & they have already referred me to occupation health last year where Occ health made recommendations for some reasonable adjustment for me to continue working but none of the recommendations have actually helped. I have being signed off work for two months now & my lupus is still flaring up. Will get my Union involved & start research into pension & other entitlement. Will keep you updated on how I get on. Thank you again for the insight. Take care xx


Have you discussed your plans to retire due to ill health with your GP/Consultant? It is a good idea to discuss it with them and check that they think this is the best cause of action for you, as they will be required to provide a report for you.

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Hi Paul have discussed retiring early with my GP but not seeing my consultant until November but I could drop him an email. Thanks for advising me of this I know It's important to cover all angles. I think both my GP & consultant will be supportive as they have seen how my health had deteriorated when working.

Thanks again x


Hi Glen1

I retired on medical grounds this year at the age of 48. Emotionally it was hard to accept I could no longer work, but now, my life is so much better. I pace myself and am enjoying life. When working, I just longed to get through the day and go to bed. You will know when the time is right and as you said, quality of life outweighs the money. Good luck in your journey

Ali x

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