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


Pension (Latin pensio, "a paying out") has had various meanings. It was sometimes equivalent to an exhibition or allowance to a scholar, and the meeting of Benchers of Gray's Inn is called a pension; but the usual meaning now attached to the word is that of a grant or allowance - generally annual - bestowed on people, whose time of work is past, for services rendered. Such are State pensions, though in times past they were granted for far other reasons, and sometimes in perpetuity. State pensions as we know them in England are Civil - granted to ministers of state. civil servants, authors or men of science; army pensions - granted to retired non-commissioned and soldiers, under varying conditions and of varying amounts; and navy pensions - which resemble in nature and conditions those of the army. Pensions are also, under certain conditions, made to widows, children, and parents of men entitled to them. Under the head of pensions may be classed the grant of money made to a winner of the Victoria Cross, if he be not of commissioned rank: the privilege to old soldiers of living in Chelsea Hospital; and the "distinguished service reward" bestowed upon commissioned officers.