Deferred Member

Ill Health Retirement

Should you be unable to work because of ill-health you may be able to take your pension whatever your age. 

Receiving your pension due to ill-health depends on the Trustees' approval, so you must provide us with satisfactory medical evidence that you can not earn an income. The Trustees may require regular evidence of continued incapacity and of earnings received from any employment. 

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.

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. 

The pension is payable while your incapacity continues. 

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 usif 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. 

Organ donation 

The Trustees would be willing to consider making a ruling in advance of donating an organ regarding your eligibility for an ill-health pension. In cases of emergency organ donation you can apply for a ruling after the organ donation. 

If you do not ask for this ruling and some time later apply for an ill-health pension, then the Trustees would make a decision in the normal way when you leave service. 

Avoiding overpayment 

You must keep the Fund Office informed of your personal circumstances to avoid any overpayment of pension being made, which would have to be repaid. 

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.

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

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 are granted an ill health pension then your deferred pension with increases to date is payable without any reduction for early payment.

You will have the option to take pension only or a one off tax free lump sum and reduced pension.

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.

We aim to pay benefits as soon as possible after your retirement date, however we cannot do so until all of the forms we ask you to complete have been fully completed and returned to us, if you have AVCs, these cannot be disinvested before your retirement date.

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.