Agree with you. Schools must keep an eye on such problems. There are not a lot of really nice teachers who enjoy their work and students so schools must treat them in a kind and respectful way. Remembering my school time, I often used this source http://essaypapers.reviews/ to get help with some of my tasks because I didn't even want to spend time on lessons where teachers don't appreciate it. But I always prepared for chemistry by myself because I had a great teacher. I wish you luck and strong health!
I totally understand, I was in a different situation to you as I didn’t return to school after my treatment. If you were managing to work until the asthma became an issue, it may not be classed as an “Ill health”cancer issue, but rather as the asthma causing the problem, although just as serious when you experience an attack. I would definitely request an occupational health review from your employers. They will be able to identify where adaptations to your classroom environment can be made. You will be able to say what you feel are the issues and your school are obliged to be as accommodating as possible. I get the impression that you really enjoy working with your pupils, and with some additional help and support you may well be able to continue for a good while longer. All the best and I hope you can back to some form of job satisfaction soon, Sue
There is an amazing ex teacher called David Fountain (he's on YouTube ) who is great as giving advice about pensions.
Ive emailed him and he's given me a formula to tell me what my enhanced ill retirement would be which is useful.
Im hoping that my breathlessness improves and they get to the bottom of it as I really don't want to finish work quite yet but I do struggle to teach when I can't breathe.
It is quite confusing, but I would recommend seeking advice from as many people as possible. As other ladies have mentioned, occupational health assessments from your employer can be very useful, I too was told by many “official sources” that I wouldn’t get Tier 2, but did. Best wishes and I hope you find a resolution to your dilemma, and that your health improves, Sue
I applied for ill health retirement I was awarded tier 2, I had only been teaching 15 years or so and the last few were part time, so my pension isn’t enough to live on or pay off a mortgage. You need to make sure you know what the financial implications are before you take it as with tier 2 you cannot work at all. The school got occupational health involved to support my application. I was told by my union that I wouldn’t get it , as I hadn’t been off work , I had only reduced my hours, in fact that was completely untrue and if I had taken my unions advice, I wouldn’t of applied for ill health retirement at all, I originally was just going to resign as I felt I couldn’t cope anymore. My headteacher just told me she would get occupational health involved and they suggested applying. Lots to think about!
Thanks so much for your reply.I've tried to find the calculator on the TPS website for ill health but it's all so confusing.
Id definitely have to downsize if I did retire as I still have a mortgage and would need my lump sum and equity to clear it and become mortgage free.
Im just biding my time now and waiting to see how my health fairs when I come off the steroids I'm on in the new year.
Hi Julie, just read your thread. I was offered Tier 2 and although I can’t remember the actual amounts between Tier I and Tier 2, I know that the enhancement made a significant difference. Also taking a lump sum helped with the sense of security (one can’t ever disregard a possibility of secondary cancer). Being offered Tier 2 helped me cope with the stress of the thought of returning to work and in some ways, I felt better for knowing that I wasn’t expected to return. Obviously, it depends on your age, number of years in service and (to an extent) the pension scheme you are in. For me, it was the best scenario. All the best with your decision. Sue
Hi, so sorry to hear that you are having a difficult time, cancer does change everything, regardless of what other people say. I never went back to school as I didn’t feel safe and well enough too, but I too felt I was “forced” to leave my job, though looking back, it was for the best. I would seriously consider contacting your union and ask for some advice about retiring early or through ill health. I was older than you, by a few years (diagnosed in Oct 2019 at just 58) and had planned to retire early at 60. After approximately 8 months of treatment (plus Herceptin for a year) I realised returning to work wasn’t a possibility. Then the Covid situation arose. I was very depressed and had memory issues, and began to dread the thought of going back to work. I contacted Teachers Pensions who gave me some information about how much I could expect to receive, depending on which level of retirement I applied for. Obviously this depends on what your salary is and how long you have been teaching- also which scheme you are in. Your union (I was in ATL which had just rebranded) should be able to put you in contact with an employment specialist who will be able to guide you. Mine was extremely helpful. I applied for ill health and was offered Tier 2, which was was the higher rate and was able to take a lump sum, but part of the conditions are that I can’t do any work. You may be eligible for Tier 1, where you can do some form of work. As I now don’t pay much tax, I probably receive just over half my monthly salary, but I have my lump sum. It costs nothing (except a little time filling out paperwork) to apply and you can withdraw your application or decline whatever you are offered, if you change your mind. It’s a very difficult decision that only you can make. Seriously consider getting in touch with your union for pension advice. You can also look on the Teachers Pensions website for a general calculation which might be helpful. Hope this was useful, best wishes, Sue
I’m hoping to apply very soon. I’m headteacher of a primary school.
You can check your pension online and look at your most recent statement. This tells you exactly what you would be awarded if you receive tier 1 ill health retirement, both your annual pension and lump sum. If you are awarded tier 2 this is enhanced further and Teachers’ Pensions calculate this for you. I’d be really interested to hear from anyone who was awarded tier 2 and how much of a jump from tier 1 this was for them.
Interesting reading this thread.
I was diagnosed June 2021 and had treatment (surgery, chemo & rads) I have 2 Herceptin to go and am taking Anastrozole. I went back to school on a phased return inApril 2022 and went back into the classroom fulltime (Y2j in September. I'm 54 in February. I teach in primary.
Ive had ongoing asthma/breathing issues since I had covid in April and my asthma has been very difficult to control. I'm not sure if it's covid/chemo/stress that is causing this. I had a severe asthma attack a couple of weeks ago and was admitted to hospital and had a week off work. I'm now on steroids until the end of the year and have been referred to the hospital respiratory team.
My head teacher has now removed me from the classroom (against my wishes) as he thinks my asthma is a worry and he's concerned for my well-being and class stability. How, he has done that is another story but it's been very underhand, with no discussion.
Ive now lost all enthusiasm for a job I was managing doing. He's given me PPA cover and small group interventions to do. I hate it. It's made me feel so stressed and I feel sidelined and pushed out.
I was planning on retiring in the next 4-5 years at 57/58 but I don't know if I can carry on. I'm not sure how much pension would be if I retired on I'll health. Is it a great deal below your early retirement pension?
Cancer changes everything 😣
Hi. I could have wriitten this!!! I'm also 52 and will be applying for Ill Health Retirement. Diagnosed April 2019, mastectomy May 2019, Started chemo July through to November. Herceptin July 19 through to July 20. That did me in but the worst has been the Tamoxifen which I started taking January 2020. I hate it but tooscared not to take it. I am constantly tired, aching joints, brain fog etc. I can't do my job anymore. Thankfully, I have a really supportive head. Any tips from anyone who's been through this process would be really appreciated xx
My sister also faced this problem. She has a decent years of service and would like to keep her job at the school, but her illness has prevented that. It's sad to watch... she's 6 years away from retirement and I can't imagine how she'll cope with it if she's denied her position. Right now she`s just recovering from her treatment, I even hired care for her https://www.thekey.com/learning-center/alzheimers-and-dementia-caregiving/how-to-have-more-good-days.... I hope she recovers soon and starts at least a part-time job. I wonder if there are anyone here who was denied a job shortly before retirement?
I hope everything goes well for you in the future, there can be life after treatment and recovery- it can just take a while to get there xx
That’s reassuring! I am waiting for an appointment with occupational health. My union told me the same thing about needing to be signed off which was frustrating as I’m keen to cause as little disruption to the school as possible. As it happens, I’m now off anyway as I literally couldn’t manage another day and it is really affecting my mental health, feeling under so much pressure. I’m just hoping that my age isn’t a factor in getting awarded tier 2 as I’m only 52 so a long way off normal retirement age. Thank you for the advice 😊
I applied and was granted tier 2 , I returned to teaching but reduced My hours, I couldn’t cope as a key stage leader, I was advised by my union that I wouldn’t get Ill health retirement as I wasn’t off on sick leave , Which was totally wrong ,as I was awarded tier 2, I sent a time line of treatment, evidence and issues in my supporting statement , I also focused on my hormone treatment and how it was making me feel physically and emotionally , I have arthritis too. I would get your school’s occupational health involved., their assessment by a doctor was very helpful.
Thank you so much for your response. That is really useful information. I’m really pleased that it’s been a positive experience for you and you’re feeling better for it. Schools really aren’t the best places to be when struggling with health. I’ve got a bit of preparation to do but I hope to apply in the near future. Thanks again.
sorry to hear that you are struggling with your current situation. I was a Foundation Stage Leader in a Primary School when I was diagnosed at the end of 2019. After surgery, chemo with Herceptin, radiotherapy and 3 years of Zometa infusions to deal with, I never felt well enough to return to work so decided to apply for Ill health retirement. The radiotherapy affected my shoulder and I was referred to an osteopath for treatment. I also had begun to see signs of arthritis which affected my mobility. As I was still being seen by my hospital team and Macmillan I asked them to support my application (you will need to submit statements on your treatment and aftercare from the professionals who have treated you), the osteopath also gave me a letter to submit which detailed the treatment I was receiving as a result of the shoulder injury. My union was very helpful in advising how to complete the personal statement which you also need to complete. I wasn’t sure if I would get offered any early retirement offer, I was 58 at the time of applying (a bit closer to retirement than you are) however I knew I couldn’t continue working and was prepared to just leave, but I hoped I would be offered Tier 1 at least. Approx a week after submitting my forms, I received a message via the Teachers Pension portal to say the panel had discussed my situation and I was being offered Tier 2. It was genuinely a surprise. All I can say to you if you are considering applying is to thoroughly collect as much evidence and support from the various medical professionals who you have/ had treated you and when writing your personal statement, go right back to the beginning, and include how you felt and coped/ didn’t cope with the different stages of your treatment and continuing recovery process. I have been officially retired now for just over a year and I can honestly say that it has been a big help towards regaining my mental and physical health while still dealing with the fall out from the original diagnosis and treatment. Good luck to you, it’s definitely worth applying 😊
Really interested to read these comments. I’m a primary school headteacher and completed active treatment in 2019, having had chemo, double mastectomy and radio. I’m now on hormone therapy for years. I’ve struggled since treatment and haven’t been able to sustain full time working for any period of time. I suffer from terrible fatigue that affects all areas of my life and my mental health is starting to suffer as a result. I’m currently absent and am starting to think about ill health retirement. As I’m only 52, I really need to get a tier 2 award. Have any of you ladies achieved this as a result of the impact of hormone therapy?
Your health and well being is the most important thing, I don’t regret taking early retirement at all. Even though I am still having Zometa treatment and will never be sure if I am will have a reoccurrence, I feel as if a great weight has been lifted from me. Just knowing that I don’t have to set the alarm and can get up in my own time if and when I want, makes the day more manageable. It is a true cliche but I don’t think I would have the time to go to work now. Of course, I understand that financially I am worse off but I was lucky to get the enhanced pension and opted to take the maximum lump sum, meaning my monthly pension payments are under the maximum earnings so I don’t pay tax. With the money I saved from not buying “unnecessaries” for school (you know what I mean- stuff to make my class room nicer) and extra work clothes and travel costs, I am not much worse off. It is worth considering, and even if you do apply, you can always refuse the offer.
Retiring and taking care of your health is the top priority, nothing else can be more important. I can say it from my own experience, after some many years of working without taking much time to spend on myself, and then lots of health problems appearing one after another. At some point, the main my back and neck was almost insupportable, and the only way to get rid of it was to visit Adria Medical Center, where I participated in multiple physiotherapy sessions in order to get my body back to normal, without pain.
I went part time too, 3 days and then 2, still couldn’t cope, I have arthritis too, made worse by anastrazole but all this helped with my application. If you receive the enhanced pension , you cannot work in any capacity.
Hi, I was a Foundation Stage Leader so I can imagine your position being similar to mine in the sense of stress and physical exertion. The fact that I was not receiving any salary by the time I applied, may have been a factor but I don’t know. When I enquired with Teachers Pensions regarding the two levels, I asked if I should specify if I thought I might be entitled to either Tier 1 ( no working in a school, but could work in A supermarket, stacking shelves or similar) or Tier 2 ( no working whatsoever) and was told the panel of independent medical experts would assess my case and make a decision. I didn’t think I would receive Tier 2, but to be honest, I don’t think I could reliably take on any work where I had time constraints as some days I can’t get out of bed before 9.30am due to the fatigue. Also with Tier 2, you are paid up to statutory pension age rather than ‘early retirement age’ as in Tier 1. You can check on the Teachers Pension website though for the exact restrictions. I guess it depends on many factors such as your age, how close you are to retirement, how physical your job is, whether your employer can offer you an alternative position with less stress and most importantly, the outcome of your cancer treatment. If you are serious, I would definitely apply, you can always decline if you change your mind. I found the longest part is the filling in of the form and collecting evidence from the medical professionals that treated/are treating you. Once the form was received by TP it only took just over a week before I had a decision in writing.
Thanks both of you, that’s really useful. It’s such a big decision to make but I think I’m going to explore it. Interesting that one of you was off for 18 months and the other not, and both got it. I was full time team leader in a special school before diagnosis. Went back (virtual as shielding), reduced to three days after 6 months. Then had a term back in real life before changing jobs to autism advisory teacher now, still three days, no team leading, no classroom, still can’t do it. Do you know if you can do voluntary work on enhanced or absolutely no form of work even unpaid?
Hi, I was also told it was very unlikely I would get offered the enhanced pension (tier 2) however I was suffering from a shoulder injury caused by radiotherapy and being treated by an orthopaedic surgeon. My Macmillan nurse helped me with the application form, I had a supporting letter from the orthopaedic surgeon and the occupational therapist report( which my school requested) was also submitted. I didn’t know until my request had been looked at if I would get any offer of I’ll health retirement, but I did get the enhanced package. I was 59 and had been off work 18 months, while I was off sick my school had had an OFSTED inspection and had been put in to Special Measures. I put all this information into my personal statement, also I put in how physically and mentally I still felt unwell and that I was uncertain how the pressure of working in a primary setting would effect me. All you can do is try. Be specific on your condition, treatment and recovery. My union was very helpful and provided me with a designated contact who helped me and read through my statement offering points that might help. Much as I loved my job before diagnosis, I don’t regret taking I’ll health retirement as I know returning to work would have finished me off. Good luck with your application, please post and let us know how you get on.
I was told I wouldn’t get it by my union, they said it was difficult to achieve, I mentioned this to my headteacher, my school were really supportive and an occupational health doctor HR supplied by my school completed a report. I also provided lots of evidence to support my claim, consultant letters, GP letters, I completed my own statement too. It is time consuming but I didn’t have to wait long for the decision. I was awarded an enhanced pension. Xx
Hi. Just seen this thread through a search I did as contemplating the same. I’ve gone back after treatment and shielding and it is too much. Interested that people have been awarded it, been told before was almost impossible! Did you get the accrued benefits or incapacity (think those are the correct terms?) thanks for any advice
So pleased for you, I have completed the online form, it was quite simple and straightforward, just waiting on my employer to agree an end of contract date. Here’s to a better 2021 and hopefully we will be able to enjoy our retirement in full. I do hope you will feel better knowing you don’t have to return to the classroom and that now the pressure of work has been lifted, you can begin to make a good recovery and feel better in yourself. Look forward to the summer and the warmer days that will surely lift our spirits!
Yes I am waiting for a my employer too , they have to decide on a date and send it off, I also have to fill in the on line pensions form too. Then hopefully that will be it! Hope you have a lovely retirement too 😀
congratulations on being awarded ill health retirement, I am sure it is a great weight of your mind. I too have been awarded it and as you say, the decision was made quickly. I am just waiting for my employer to fill in their form, which is not as quick (over 2 weeks so far) so I don’t have a definite date as yet, but hopefully it will be soon. All the best to you and I hope you have a happy retirement 💕
just to let you know I was awarded ill health retirement. The made the decision quickly, only 4 days after the forms were sent in.
Hope things are going well with you.
my worry is that I will experience what you describe, I don’t want to feel resentful because I have to spend my “days off” recovering from my work days. I think I might contact my union and see if they can advise on the best way to go around it. Do you know who decides if you are entitled to ill health retirement? Is it school or the Pension department?
good luck with your application
The hormone treatment and other tablets I have to take are taking their tole with all the side effects. I find even though I am part time the long days and all the other things that are associated with the role are physically demanding as well as emotionally demanding so I am not enjoying my days off, as I am recuperating and haven’t the motivation or energy to enjoy things I used to do. I do enjoy teaching and I would miss parts of my job but I know that I cannot carry on so will probably apply for ill health retirement this academic year 💋
I thought I had read on the Teachers Pension website that to be entitled to claim the enhanced ill health retirement benefits you need to be unable to do any job in school. My school have implied that they would like me to return but that they would expect me to carry out “all” duties eventually, but phased return with a view to part time would be available. I think I could probably manage the class teaching on a part time basis, but it’s all the other stuff (planning, staff meeting, parents evenings, co ordinator responsibility etc) that I’m not sure I could cope with. How are you feeling about your position?
I did not apply at that time because of Covid, I have got the forms to fill in though and will get to it probably this term. I am sure the criteria is different for everyone and you do not have to be terminal or have a secondary diagnosis, where did you sauce that information from ?
did you decided to take your teachers pension and if so did you get it on ill health?
I am facing a similar problem myself, was diagnosed early September 2019 and not gone back yet as on Herceptin till November. Also school can’t guarantee I will be socially distanced so I was thinking about returning after Christmas part time. My memory is what’s troubling me, I can’t remember the simplest things and I still have bouts of fatigue which knock me for six. I did make enquires earlier in my treatment about retirement through Ill health but it wasn’t very clear on the pensions website. I seemed to recall you needed to be terminal or diagnosed with secondary cancer to qualify, but I can’t remember ( it’s the chemo brain !!).
i would be interested to know what you decided or if anyone else has any information on this matter.
I’ve just had a look at the Teachers pension website and it says that you can claim retirement pension from the age of 55, although I imagine you won’t get as much as if you’d waited till the normal retirement age, so it sounds as though you’re just in this age bracket.
Like you, I went back very part time to teaching after 6 months off for chemo and radiotherapy and found it absolutely exhausting - it was the constant feeling of ‘busyness’ and the never-ending marking, planning etc. However I was older (63) so the decision to retire was easy. I can’t help thinking that the stresses of teaching might have contributed towards my breast cancer...... good luck with your investigations 😊
Anybody gone for ill health retirement after a breast cancer diagnosis? Have gone to two days teaching and still finding it hard- just wondered if there were other options I am 56 and two years after diagnosis thanks