Ill Health Retirement
If your employer decides that you have to leave your Local Government employment at any age by reason of being permanently incapable of carrying out the duties of that employment because of ill health or infirmity of mind or body, you are entitled to ill health pension benefits.
To qualify for ill health retirement benefits you have to have met the vesting period in the scheme and based on an opinion from an Independent Registered Medical Practitioner appointed by the Fund, are stated to be unable to immediately to partake in gainful employment.
Ill health benefits can be paid at any age and are not reduced on account of early payment, in fact, your benefits could be increased to make up for your early retirement. There are graded levels of benefit based on how likely you are to be capable of gainful employment after you leave.
All initial stages to the Ill Health retirement process are led by your employer and your employer's Human Resources department. It is only upon notification of a member being granted Ill Health Retirement, that the Clwyd Pension Fund can action any calculations and correspond with the member directly regarding any pensionable benefits.
Upon gathering evidence from the member to support their individual case, the member's health shall be examined by an Independent Registered Medical Practitioner. The Independent Registered Medical Practitioner provides their opinion to the employer upon the health of the member, but employer ultimately decides what Tier of Ill Health Retirement they are eligible for, if any.
It is important to note that the independent registered medical practitioner must be in a position to certify, and must include in his certification, a statement that he has not previously advised, given an opinion on, or otherwise been involved in your case and that he is not acting, and has not at any time acted, as your or your employer's representative.
Regardless of the 85-year rule, your benefits will not be reduced if you have to retire early due to permanent ill health.
The term 'Gainful Employment' is imperative in determining what Tier of Ill Health a member is applicable for as it appears in all three Tier definitions. It is defined as follows:
"paid employment for not less than 30 hours in each week for a period of not less than 12 months."
The employer determines that there is no reasonable prospect of the member obtaining gainful employment before their normal retirement age and so the benefits will be enhanced by 100% of the prospective membership to Normal Pension Age.
If your employer determines that you are eligible for Tier 1 Ill Health benefits, your benefits will be calculated using your membership accrued to date plus all of the assumed pensionable pay that you would have built up had you remained in your job until your Normal Pension Age, and shall be payable unreduced.
The employer determines that, although the member cannot obtain gainful employment within a reasonable period of leaving local government employment, it is likely that they will be able to obtain gainful employment before their normal retirement age and so their benefits will be enhanced by 25% of the prospective membership to Normal Pension Age.
Although the member cannot obtain gainful employment within a reasonable period of leaving local government employment, it is likely that they will be able to obtain gainful employment before their normal retirement age and so the benefits will be enhanced by 25% of the prospective assumed pensionable pay to Normal Pension Age.
The employer determines that the member will obtain gainful employment within a reasonable period (defined as 3 years) and benefits built up to date can be released, unenhanced but may be reviewed by the employer within 18 months and again after 3 years.
Review of Tier 3 benefits / Returning to work
The member will be held responsible for notifying his former employer of when they obtain further employment.
Your employer is required to review your circumstances 18 months after the point from which your benefits were brought into payment. If after 3 years the member is still incapable of gainful employment, the case can be reviewed by a qualified occupational health doctor who can advise whether the benefits in payment could be 'upgraded' to a tier 2 ill health case.
Otherwise these benefits will no longer be paid as a pensionable income, and will be deferred in the scheme until they are payable from your Normal Pension Age.