Deadline looms for ill-health retirement

by Jennifer Trueland

The BMA is alerting doctors who are considering retirement on the grounds of ill health to ensure they have done so by 31 March 2022, or they risk losing out.

Location: UK
Published: Wednesday 9 February 2022
A man sits speaking to a woman with her back to the camera. He is holding open a stapled document.

Applications must be received by the relevant pensions’ agency by that date for them to be considered for the McCloud age discrimination remedy. This remedy came about after the Court of Appeal decided that changes to most public service pension schemes, including the NHS scheme, potentially discriminated against younger members.

Applications made within the remedy period of 1 April 2015 to 31 March 2022 (whether successful or not) are potentially in scope if the member is eligible for the remedy. 

Members in scope of the remedy who have received an ill-health pension during that time will be offered the option to have benefits calculated either as per the rules of their legacy scheme or the new reformed 2015 CARE (Career Average Revalued Earnings) scheme. 

Criteria requirement

For members who had their ill-health application accepted under the legacy scheme, for benefits to be payable on health grounds under the 2015 CARE scheme, the criteria for that scheme will need to be met, for example, that the ill-health condition is permanent until state pension age.

If this is not met, the benefits between 1 April 2015 and date of retirement could be taken on voluntary early retirement grounds if they choose to have this period in the 2015 scheme. The option and comparison benefits will be provided to members. 

Members in scope who were declined during the remedy period because of having their applications assessed against the rules of the 2015 CARE scheme will be reassessed against the rules of their legacy section (with permanence being required to be illustrated up to age 60 in the 1995 section and age 65 in the 2008 section).

As all members will move to the 2015 CARE scheme from 1 April 2022 any application for ill-health retirement made after that date will be subject to the rules of that scheme and will not be in scope of the McCloud remedy.