Home Forums Ask the Expert Taking Early Retirement on grounds of ill-health

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      Has anyone got experience of this?  I was advised to look into making enquiries about taking my workplace pension early.  I worked for the local Council for about 15 years – 10 years, then a gap, then 5 years.  Always paid into the pension fund.

      I haven’t been in paid work since I “retired” in 2005 – as a result of a car accident I was experiencing much more pain and a big reduction in my mobility and ability to use the loo independently.  I struggle to sit for long periods too.

      On advice from my financial adviser, I applied to take my pension early about a year ago.  This was a fairly lengthy and drawn out process (terrible communications with the pension provider!) and I had to do a lot of chasing up.  I had two x telephone assessments from an occupational health doctor who asked me questions about the work I did, what I do now and what would stop me from doing my previous job (a secretary).

      I was assessed as being “unfit to do my previous work due to ill-health” and – lovely surprise.  I thought I would just start to get my pension paid to me monthly from now on.  But as well as this, I have received a backdated payment in respect of past years that I have been unable to work – so 15 years worth of back-dated annual pension!

      This was a large amount – over £60k – (mainly because it was for so many years).

      But the bad news is that tax was deducted from it before it was paid out to me – so I received £42k.

      If anyone is in a similar position to me, it may be worth seeing whether you’d be entitled to receive your pension payments early?  After all, money paid into a workplace pension is of no benefit to you once you’ve died (but can be drawn down by any financial dependents).

      I’m currently making enquiries as to whether I can reclaim any of the tax back that I had to pay – will  provide an up-date if and when I hear about this.

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