To be eligible to take your pension on the grounds of ill health you must:

  • have at least 2 years service in the NHS Pension Scheme
  • be under your Normal Pension Age (NPA)

If you’re due to be made redundant, you cannot retire on the grounds of ill health.

To check if you’re eligible, you must complete either:

If you’re over your NPA, you're already entitled to claim your pension on age grounds. You do not need to complete either of these forms.

The NPA for Special Class (SC) and Mental Health Officer (MHO) members for ill health purposes is age 60.

Which form must I complete


Complete the AW33E if you're either:

  • an active member of the NHS Pension Scheme
  • in NHS employment and have opted out of the NHS Pension Scheme

If you’re a GP who’s opted out of the Scheme but is still in NHS employment, send a completed AW33E to PCSE on the portal.

If you have more than one employer, you only need to complete one AW33E. This should be with your main employer.


Complete the AW240 if you’re not in NHS Employment.

Membership in more than one section or scheme

If you have membership in more than one section or scheme, you may need to complete both forms.

Read more information on our website.

If your application is accepted

To apply to take your pension you must complete either an AW8 or an AW8P.

If you're eligible to take ill health retirement, we'll let you know which form you need when we contact you.

You'll have up to 12 months from the date of the medical decision to claim your pension benefits.

Serious ill health

If you’re terminally ill with a life expectancy of less than 12 months you may take your benefits as a one off lump sum.

If you decide to take your benefits as a one off lump sum, you’ll need to submit a form along with your AW8 or AW8P:

Read more information on our website.

Apply for ill health again after returning to work

If you return to work after ill health retirement and then leave work again due to further ill health, you must go through the appeals process to see if you would be eligible.

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