MPN Voice
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Has anyone enquired or actually taken (early) retirement with PV (or other MPD) ?

I enquired with my pension company a few weeks ago about the possibility of taking early retirement. Although they responded favourably (I'm 57 next month and have had pv for two and a half years) I'm still awaiting a one-to-one to discuss the pv health issue. I'd be interested to hear if anyone else has yet gone down this route and whether their mpd was taken into consideration when given a quote for their pension. I should say that I don't particularly wish or need to stop working just yet but would like to keep all my options open.

Thanks in advance for any experiences you can share - and of course I'll revert if and when I have any update.

8 Replies

I have been recently medically retired (aged 40), but in my case the PV was also complicated by a psychiatric condition (clinical depression) as well. Depending on the severity of your symptoms it maybe possible standalone, ultimately it will come down to whether it impairs your ability to perform your job, whether there are alternative roles you could do, etc..

It was a long and complex process taking 18-months and lawyers before a successful outcome was reached.

I had been off on long-term absence for nearly four years, so if your still working then unless your struggling to cope it would be unlikely.

Regards, Ian


Thankyou for taking the time to respond, Ian - it's very much appreciated ;-)


Hi Ian,

I have just been retired age 56. I have been diagnosed with ET for 4 years.

I have had frequent chest pains, joint pain and stiffness, this affects my hands so I drop things a lot and have trouble suturing and writing. I have pain and a burning sensation in my feet, pain in my ankles, and bone pain in my tibias, degenerative discs with scoliosis causing problems with walking, lifting or moving equipment. I was becoming very clumsy and accident prone at work with impressive bruises!

I have fatigue, nausea, dizziness if I stand or turn quickly, "silent migraines," mental fuzziness- forgetting words and door lock numbers and computer access codes, even getting lost on my way to work, did I mention the fatigue?

I loved my career, it has been hard to leave. I struggled on as long as I could by denying how painful it was becoming. It was a relief when my manager kindly but firmly said, "enough."

The retirement process took almost a year, mainly waiting for one consultant's report. It was quite stressful, but I had every possible support from my employers, they could not have been kinder.

If you are thinking of retiring on health grounds keep a record of all the problems associated with the MPN and the chemotherapy and how it affects you work.

Best wishes, Borage


Hi Guys, I currently work full-time with PV but I am really struggling and some days can hardly put one foot past the other. My job is at risk anyway and I wondered about taking early retirement (aged 55) and wondered how bad you have to be before you can be retired due to ill health. I have the extreme fatigue, itchy skin, dizzy moments, nausea, migraines, mental fuzziness plus a lot of osteoarthritis, nerve compression problems and soft tissue inflammation. I know that soon I will have to at least reduce my hours but don't want to change my contract in any way at the moment.

Kind regards



i have et and due to a brain op that went wrong i was with my company for a month short of 25 years when i got paid off due to ill health i got a package i enquired about my company pension they told me as i was only 45 it was frozen until i was 55 i got a text saying i could cash it in but i thought it was dodgy so i phoned my company they said seeing i was terminated due to health there maybe a chance i could get my pension early but it is long hard task to get it but pleased be warned that if you do get a text about getting your pension early it is a hoax my company said there is no way you would be informed by text about company issues

kind regards nicki 2


Hi Just been re-reading this thread on early retirement and curious to know how everyone has gone on? I am almost 57 and to say I am struggling to continue working is an understatement. I am so close to throwing the towel in. I am really cheesed to the point of miserable. I just feel so tired and weary all the time, or dizzy, or foggy, or itchy or have an infection somewhere, honestly I could just sit on the floor and cry. I do admit to coping better at weekends and on holidays, so I think it is the daily routine that's wearing me down. (up at 6.00 am start work at 8.00 am -finish at 4.00 pm) If I wanted to take ill health pension from work, would I have to be on the sick before I could apply or could I apply while working. I had planned on taking my pension at 60 anyway, but wouldn't want to take it now as I would lose a lot of money, so it would have to be on ill health grounds if approved. I have ET/PV take 1000mg Hydroxy daily. Any update/advice would be really welcome.


Not sure if I can offer any help or advice specifically regarding retiring on ill health grounds for ET/PV and I can only apologise for that.

However, on an update note - and I've been remiss in not actually giving an update when I said I would... (sorry); my original post went up two years ago and quite shortly afterwards and by coincidence, I received my annual pension statement - and was very pleasantly surprised by it's contents. With the improvement in the markets and after doing all the math I was able to quite swiftly decide on taking early retirement and my two year anniversary is up next weekend !

From a health point of view and as I originally stated, I had no particular wish or need to stop working but after doing the sums, I found I was actually better off stopping work for two main reasons; 1) I'd be better of financially - especially as pay rises were/are almost non-existent and 2) more importantly - a far better work/life balance (or in this case, a life/life balance....).

My last few years at work had involved very unsociable hours i.e. getting up at 03:30 a.m. and also being around diesel vehicles in relatively confined spaces which, in some quarters, are seen as 'potential' contributors to triggering PV i.e. stress and carcinogenic substances; whatever the cause(s)/arguments, for me it was a no brainer. I had always intended to retire at 60 but was able to do so at 57 and as my pension advisor told me, in my case, those three years wouldn't have made too much difference.

The actual process went very smoothly but I was surprised that at that time, no pension company took PV into consideration as a 'life threatening' illness. One can only guess that they've not walked in our shoes.....

It's such a tough call though, Indy_Pindy and one that only you can make. With the changes in the pension regulations now, it looks a veritable minefield and I'm guessing there's going to be an awful lot of sharks swimming around it too, so get yourself a reputable pension advisor - maybe more than one - and make them work for you so that you have the best informed options.

Health and peace of mind over financial situation; like our health positions - we're all different and I can only wish you well and hope that you can find a satisfactory resolution to this part of your journey.

God bless


Thank you so much for such a prompt reply Kevin. It was very kind of you to share your outcome and I am so glad it all worked out well for you. I will seriously look into all my financial possibilities in more depth. Greatly appreciated Indy x


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