Active Member

Ill Health Retirement

Receiving your pension due to ill-health depends on the Trustees' approval, so you must provide us with satisfactory medical evidence that you cannot do your job because of mental or physical incapacity. 

The Fund operates separately from the employer and decisions on the granting of an ill health pension are based on the medical evidence provided. The Fund’s Trustees take the advice of an independent medical advisor when considering applications for ill health pensions.  

It is important to note that termination of employment on medical grounds does not automatically qualify a member for an ill health pension from the Fund.  

The ill health process involves initially gathering as much information as possible which can take several weeks as we need reports from GPs, specialists and Occupational Health. If there is a likelihood that your employment may end on medical grounds, please make your application before that point so that there is sufficient time to gather all of the information to enable us to provide the outcome of your application.  

We would recommend that you allow 2 to 3 months for the process to complete; you can apply yourself or through your line manager.  

Once we receive an application we will ask you to complete a form to allow us to gather the medical evidence we need to ascertain whether you would qualify for an ill health pension; so if you already have any specialist reports please provide them to us at that time.  

The main reasons that applications are unsuccessful is the lack of medical evidence either of the condition or in relation to treatment options having been exhausted.  

The Fund Office do issue ill health quotations, but it should be noted that these are an illustration of the pension available if an ill health pension were to be granted and are not a guarantee that you would qualify for an ill health pension.  

We are aware that some members worry that applying too soon could lead to an earlier termination of service; that is not the case. The ill health process should run alongside any attendance at work process, with the aim of getting to the position that you know whether you would qualify for an ill health pension before the end of the attendance at work process. 

Making an Application  

To make an application you should contact the Fund Office. They will issue you with a form to complete to give authority to obtain your medical details.  Alternatively you can download a form from the forms section below. 

Once the pension is in payment the Trustees may in their absolute discretion vary or suspend the pension granted. 

Such action will only be taken following an ill-health pension review. 

A review will only apply in response to contact made by you or other parties, where you seek re-employment with TfL, or if your earnings exceed, when added together with the ill-health pension, that from your previous job with TfL as currently performed. There will be no reviews after age 60. 

As a guide as to when you should make contact, the Fund requires you to tell us if the sum of your current earnings and pension together exceeds the greater of 150% of your pension or £40,700. This latter figure will be increased annually by earnings inflation and the new figure communicated to members. 

The benefit is based on your pensionable service and pensionable salary as follows: 

Pensionable service less than two years
You will not receive a pension but you can receive a lump sum of a quarter of your pensionable salary. 
If you are working part-time when you retire, the lump sum will be calculated using pro-rated pensionable salary.
Pensionable service between two and five years
You will receive a pension, calculated as 1/60 x pensionable service x pensionable salary.
Pensionable service more than five years
You will receive a pension, and your pensionable service will be increased by up to 10 years. Your annual pension is calculated as 1/60 x pensionable service x pensionable salary.

For Existing Members there is a deduction of £10.10 a year for pensionable service from 1 October 1993. 

You can exchange part of your pension for a lump sum, but not the part relating to the enhanced pensionable service. If you receive an ill-health pension you can not get a variable pension. 

Futher information can be found in our Guide to Ill Health Retirement. 

You need to complete an Access to Medical Reports and Records form, you can download a copy from the forms section or contact the Fund Office who will post a form to you.

There is no minimum age.

There is no minimum service requirement, however the benefits paid if an ill health pension is granted will differ depending on how long you have been a member of the Fund, further details are available in the Guide to Ill Health Retirement.

The ill health process involves gathering as much information as possible which can take several weeks as we need reports from GPs, specialists and Occupational Health, we recommend that you allow 2 to 3 months for the process to complete.

No you can apply direct by completing the Access to Medical Reports and Records form and returning it to the Fund Office.

We will tell you the reason that your application has been declined, in many cases it is because there is insufficient evidence or not all medical interventions have been exhausted. If this is the case we would ask that you supply any further evidence that you may have such as specialist reports, once received your application will be reviewed.

If you have less than 2 years membership the benefit payable is a one off lump sum of one quarter of your pensionable salary.

If you have between two and five years membership your accrued pension is payable without any reduction for early payment.

If you have five or more years membership, your pension is calculated in the same way as for members with between two and five years’ pensionable service but your pensionable service may be increased as follows: If you are under age 55, your pensionable service will be increased by ten years; if you are aged 55 or over, your pensionable service will be increased by the period up to age 65. At any age an overall maximum of 40 years’ total membership applies so, any increase to pensionable service will be restricted so that, your total membership will not exceed 40 years.

If you have more than two years membership you will have the option to take pension only or a one off tax free lump sum and reduced pension.

If you have more than five years membership, your pensionable service is enhanced, this means that the increase in your pension between the start of the tax year and date of retirement may be such that you exceed the Annual Allowance. If this is the case we will advise you of the amount and options to pay the charge.

No, you can choose to have either a lower cash sum or no cash sum at all. You should consider your own financial position when considering whether to take a cash sum or not.

We cannot provide you with advice, but when considering whether to take cash you should take into account your own financial circumstances and consider:

  • How much tax free cash sum (if any) you need or want to take
  • Whether a tax free lump sum today is better than pension for life taking into account that the pension increases once in payment

If you were a member of the Fund before 6 April 1997 then you would have been contracted out of the State Second Pension and as a result you paid lower National Insurance contributions. His means that your pension may include an element known as Guaranteed Minimum Pension (GMP) which increases at a different rate to the rest of your pension, GMP accrued before 6 April 1988 is not increased by the Fund, GMP accrued between 6 April 1988 and 5 April 1997 is increased in line with CPI capped at 3%, pension in excess of GMP is increased in line with RPI capped at 5% for those who joined the Fund after 1 April 1989.

Pensions are paid 4 weekly in advance, a list of future pay dates in available on the Fund website

This will depend upon whether you have AVCs as these can only be disinvested once your final AVC has been received and cannot be disinvested before your retirement date. You may wish to consider stopping AVCs the pay period before you retire to reduce the impact of having to wait to disinvest your AVCs.

If we have fully completed paperwork in advance of your retirement date then if you have no AVCs we aim to pay your lump sum on the next business day after the day you retire.

Your pension will commence from the start of the pay period after any lump sum is settled, it will include any arrears due since your date of retirement.

We are required to check whether your pension exceeds the Lifetime Allowance, this is an HMRC requirement and to do this we need details of any other pensions you have in payment or have claimed.