Retiring on ill health grounds

Hi all

ive not been on here for a while but hoping your all doing well. Has anyone taken ill health retirement? I’m thinking about doing so (I’m 52) not because I feel physically unable but because its emotionally hard. But I’m scared of asking for it, what if I regret it and I start to dwell. I’ve already cut my hrs and the job would not be do-able on less hrs than I do now. I guess what I want is someone to tell me what to do and I know that can’t happen but if anyone has any wise words (or has taken ill health retirement) I’d love to hear. 


Ive recently lost two friends to this ruddy awful disease and although I am stable at present it’s shaken me and made me re-evaluate things. I guess the bottom line is I’m scared I’ll take retirement and then it’ll all spiral downwards. Am I giving into Cancer? Any help please.


thank you all


julia x 

Jools … I cant really guide you and its the decision you must make for yourself and really based on your financial status and how you could afford to live. Im not sure what your cancer status is but a lot of us get PIP which is a great help for things.


My story is I worked until I was 62 and could draw my state pension and small work one … I looked forward to travelling and enjoying the freedom from 9 to 5 Office hours. Well I had a year when we moved house and did a lot of granny sitting and then I got dx with bone mets which has limited me a lot from doing all the things I thought I would be able to … no one knows what is around the corner so to speak …  and lifes a gamble . 

A lot of ladies enjoy working to focus away from the c word … I had 11 years from primary to secondary and was fit and well to work full time … I dont miss work at all but of course Im much older and sometimes wish I had retired years before I did so I could have enjoyed life when I was well.


Not much help but Im sure you will work out the best option for yourself.

Carolyn xxx 

Hi Julie, I took early retirement. I was working in the nhs at the time, my prognosis wasnt good and so 

I went early at around 52. i was lucky because I had friends who were union reps and the gave me advice.


as cancer patients, we have protection by. Law, so if you need/want to retire, see your GP and ask him to support you. You will likely have to fill out forms and your GP will,have to write on your behalf.

i wish you the very best of luck, keep us posted


And NO it isnt giving in to cancer, its called looking after yourself,


I went because I wanted to give myself the best chance of recovery.  and you may find that like me, you feel able to go back at a later date…I went back 5 years later…for a while, but found that they wanted twice as much work done in half the time…so  I decided to leave again after about two years


i hope you make the best choice for youxx


best wishes Moijanxx

Jools the cancer will not change wether you work or not.I took early retirement and I’m glad I did I never get bored and it takes the pressure of work away on off days…i travelled a lot went to Las Vegas .india.Caribbean and I’m so glad I did it all coz lately slowed down I get pip and esa…which helps enormously as I’m not even retirement age yet…have a long think the decision will come to you…takecare Sharon.x

Hi ladies, i have just ‘been retired on ill health grounds’ rather than taken early retirement…if it makes a difference??

I was diagnosed in 2011 and was off work until 2012 (approx the whole year although i worked in a school).

I worked from August 2012 til July 2014 when my secondary diagnosis was confirmed. My job was held open for me but as my disease progressed it was becoming less likey that i would return to work and they couldnt keep my job open for ever. I was advised by my union and Macmillan not to retire so in the end my employer technically finished me on a dismissal. However they were fully supportive of my situation and did all they could to get my pension paid in full even though i’m only 52. it isnt a lot but at least i dont have to worry about holding a job down as well as coping with this awful disease (although i appreciate many people want to continue). I have never thought of it as giving in to cancer,i just value other things more in my life than work. It is going to be hard financially and realise it isnt an option for everyone but its the right decision for me. I’m sure, with the right advice you will reach the right decision. xx

Yes, big decision. ? Jools


Bernadetteh, i found it quite hard to do,even tho, I was the one who pushed for it. I stayed on the register for a while…in those days it was a 5 year renewal, and Just before that happened, I did a return to practice course and went back! But found that my colleagues were working twice as hard in the same hours and doing their IT in their own time! So ethically, I felt I didnt want to do it. It felt a wrench when I finally left the register as obviously id worked so very hard to get on it all those years ago.

i wish you both luck with your decision.?  



I took I’ll health retirement from NHS as a mental health nurse after nearly 27 2013.  I was off sick for over am ear and they wanted to terminate my employment as I was not apable to do my job so this seemed the best idea. Not really how I wanted to end my career,. I glad I did as I went on to have more lung Mets which I had treatment form nd they have now come back again. On the plus side I took the family to Iceland which we loved. 


Life fe is too short to worry about work , if you can afford it retire and live your life and enjoy every moment xx

Hi everyone,
I think it all depends how well you are, what sort of job you have , whether you enjoy workng and what you would do instead. I love my job, it is intellectually challenging but not heavy physically and I work beside people whose company I really enjoy. If I wasn’t working I’d have to find other things to do instead as I think sitting at home on my own all day would put me on a downward spiral. I don’t want to spend my children’s (admittedly small)inheritance on going on holidays as I’m not much of a traveller anyway. I’m going to keep working until I’m no longer able.Best wishes xxx

Hi. I have just been accepted for ihr. I worked for first 2 years after diagnosis…mets to bones and lung…but in april had spread to liver and thought it was time to leave. But its a hard decision. Im only 54 and have worked for same place for 36 years. I feel sad my career has ended like this and have very mixed emotions as i loved my work and colleagues. But with treatments and side effects etc it just wasnt viable to continue. But everyones diffreent.

Carolsav, i too was finished from work on ill health but on very good terms…they did everything they could to help me both through primary and secondary. I had worked there for 15 years and was a little sad to go but becase i had been away for so long it wasnt really a wrench. I still see some of my work colleagues who are really freinds, so thats nice. Towards the end i didnt feel as though i ‘belonged’ any more so knew it was time to go. To be honest its one less thing to stress about. The ony problem is the loss of money but if you are ok on that score just enjoy your new status as much as possible. xx

Hi I am going through the process, with my employer, I made the decision after. Cutting hours and still not coping. It’s the thought of giving in however I now realise I’m being selfless and giving my self time to recover rest, and look At more recovery options, the struggle to keep going was having an adverse affect stress letting people down etc now I can rest when. Needed and research more choices hope this helps Mary