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Note:  Do not rely on this information. It is very old.

Halfpay

Half-pay, the salary paid to commissioned officers in the British army and navy while they are not actively employed. In the navy, where it is rather less than two-thirds of full pay, it forms the regular stipend of officers whose ships are no longer in commission until their appointment to a new ship. In the army officers are not placed on half-pay, except in cases of illness or inefficiency, until they have held a command as lieutenant-colonel for four years; they then receive half-pay until they are promoted.

“Walk as on the borders of the invisible world.”
–Robert Hawker Poor Man's Morning and Evening Portions, July 17