The arrangements for ill-health retirement under the 2015 scheme are complex and the following can only be a general guide.
There is a set order of procedure and before any decision can be made the Police Pension Authority must put specific questions to a duly qualified medical practitioner selected by them – the ‘selected medical practitioner‘ (SMP).
The SMP will consider your ability to:
- run or walk reasonable distances and stand for reasonable periods
- exercise reasonable physical force in restraint and retention in custody
- sit for reasonable periods, write, read, use the telephone and use (or learn to use) IT
- make decisions and report situations to others
- evaluate information and record details
- understand, retain and explain facts and procedures
In determining whether your condition is permanent (likely to continue until normal pension age (NPA) or death whichever is sooner) it will be assumed that you are receiving appropriate medical treatment for it. This does not include treatment that the Police Pension Authority decides is reasonable for you to refuse.
The SMP’s determination will be based on a medical examination (unless there are very exceptional circumstances).
Even if you are assessed as permanently medically unfit for the performance of the ordinary duties of a member of the police force, it does not automatically mean that you will be retired on ill-health grounds.
The Police Pension Authority will consider your specific medical condition and overall capabilities to see whether there are any alternative duties which you could undertake whilst remaining a member of the police force.
There are two levels of ill-health retirement:
- If you are permanently medically unfit for the ordinary duties of a member of the police force, you may be entitled to a lower tier ill-health pension.
- If you are permanently medically unfit for the ordinary duties of a member of the police force and in addition you are permanently medically unfit for any regular employment, you may also be entitled to an enhanced upper tier ill-health pension. For this purpose ‘regular employment’ means employment for an annual average of at least 30 hours per week.
If, when you joined the police force or rejoined the scheme after opting out, the Police Pension Authority determined (following medical examination) that you were ineligible for ill-health benefits, you cannot receive an ill-health pension if you are required to retire on ill-health grounds.