to be abolished; that all existing perpetual (pensions and payments and all hereditary offices should be abolished: that where no service or merely nominal service is rendered by the holder of an hereditary office or the original grantee of a pension, the pension or payment should in no case continue beyond the life of the present holder and that in all cases the method of commutation ought to ensure a real and substantial saving to the nation (the existing rate, about 27 years’ purchase, being considered by the committee to be too high). These recommendations of the committee were adopted by the government and outstanding hereditary pensions were gradually commuted, the only ones left outstanding being those to Lord Rodney (£2000) and to Earl Nelson (£5000), both chargeable on the consolidated fund.
Political Pensions.—By the Political Offices Pension Act 1869, pensions were instituted for those who had held political office. For the purposes of the act political offices were divided into three classes: (1) those with a yearly salary of not less than £5000, (2) those with a salary of less than £5000 and not less than £2000; (3) those with a salary of less than £2000 and more than £1000. For service in these offices there may be awarded pensions for life in the following scale (1) a first class pension not exceeding £2000 a year, in respect of not less than four years’ service or its equivalent, in an office of the first class; (2) a second class pension not exceeding £1200, in respect of service of not less than six years or its equivalent, in an office of the second class; (3) a third class pension not exceeding £800 a year, in respect of service of not less than ten years in an office of the third class. The service need not be continuous, and the act makes provision for counting service in lower classes as a qualification for pension in a higher class. These pensions are limited in number to twelve, but a holder must not receive any other pension out of the public revenue, if so, he must inform the treasury and surrender it if it exceeds his political pension, or if under he must deduct the amount. He may, however, hold office while a pensioner, but the pension is not payable during the time he holds office. To obtain a political pension, the applicant must file a declaration stating the grounds upon which he claims it and that his income from other sources is not sufficient to maintain his station in life.
Civil List Pensions.—These are pensions granted b the sovereign from the civil list upon the recommendation of the first lord of the treasury. By 1 & 2 Vict. c. 2 they are to be granted to “such persons only as have just claims on the royal beneficence or who by their personal services to the Crown, or by the performance of duties to the public, or by their useful discoveries in science and attainments in literature and the arts, have merited the gracious consideration of their sovereign and the gratitude of their country” A sum of £1200 is allotted each year from the civil list, in addition to the pensions already in force. From a Return issued in 1908 the total of civil list pensions payable in that year amounted to £2,665.
Judicial, Municipal, &c.—There are certain offices of the executive whose pensions are regulated by particular acts of parliament. judges of the Supreme Court, on completing fifteen years’ service or becoming permanently incapacitated for duty, whatever their length of service, may be granted a pension equal to two-thirds of their salary (Judicature Act 1873). The lord chancellor of England however short a time he may have held office, receives a pension of £5000, but he usually continues to sit as a law lord in the House of Lords-so also does the lord chancellor of Ireland, who receives a pension of £3,692 6s. 1d. A considerable number of local authorities have obtained special parliamentary powers for the purpose of superannuating their officials and workmen who have reached the age of 60–65. Poor law officers receive superannuation allowances under the Poor Law Officers Superannuation Acts 1864–1897.
Ecclesiastical Pensions.—Bishops, deans, canons or incumbents who are incapacitated by age or infirmity from the discharge of their ecclesiastical duties may receive pensions which are a charge upon the revenues of the see or cure vacated.
Navy pensions were first instituted by William III. in 1693 and regularly established by an order in council of Queen Anne in 1700. Since then the rate of pensions has undergone various modifications and alterations; the full regulations concerning pensions to all ranks will be found in the quarterly Navy List, published by the authority of the Admiralty. In addition to the ordinary pensions there are also good-service pensions, Greenwich Hospital pension and pensions for wounds. An officer is entitled to a pension when he is retired at the age of 45, or if he retires between the ages of 40 and 45 at his own request, otherwise he receives only half pay. The amount of his pension depends upon his rank, length of service and age The maximum retired pay of an admiral is £850 per annum, for which 30 years’ service or its equivalent in half-pay time is necessary; he may, in addition, hold a good service pension of £300 per annum. The maximum retired pay of a vice-admiral, with 29 years’ service is £725; of rear-admirals with 27 years service £600 per annum. Pensions of captains who retire at the age of 55, commanders, who retire at 50, and lieutenants who retire at 45, range from £200 per annum for 17 years' service to £525 for 24 years’ service. The pensions of other officers are calculated in the same way according to age and length of service. The good-service pensions consist of ten pensions of £300 per annum for flag-officers, two of which may be held by vice-admirals and two by rear-admirals; twelve of £150 for captains; two of £200 a year and two of £150 a year for engineer officers, three of £100 a year for medical officers of the navy; six of £200 a year for general officers of the Royal Marines and two of £150 a year for colonels and lieut.-colonels of the same. Greenwich Hospital pensions range from £150 a year for flag officers to £25 a year for warrant officers. All seamen and marines who have completed twenty-two years’ service are entitled to pensions ranging from 10d. a day to a maximum of 1s. 2d. a day, according to the number of good-conduct badges, together with the good-conduct medal. possessed. Petty officers, in addition to the rates of pension allowed them as seamen, are allowed for each year’s service in the capacity of superior petty officer, 15s. 2d. a year, and in the capacity of inferior petty officer 7s. 7d. a year. Men who are discharged the service on account of injuries and wounds or disability attributable to the service are pensioned with sums varying from 6d a day to 2s. a day. Pensions are also given to the widows of officers in certain circumstances and compassionate allowances made to the children of officers. In the Navy estimates for 1908–1909 the amount required for half-pay and retired-pay was £868,800, and for pensions, gratuities and compassionate allowances £1,334,600, a total of £2,203,400.
Army.—The system of pensions in the British Army is somewhat intricate, provision being made for dealing with almost every case separately. As a general rule officers can retire after eight years service on a pension of £100 per annum for ten years, provided that they take commissions in either the Imperial Yeomanry or Special Reserve and attend the annual trainings during that period. The other pensions are as follows: 2nd lieutenants, lieutenants, captains and majors after 15 years’ service (or 12 years in the West India regiment), £120, if 45 years of age £200; majors, after 25 years’ service, £200. Royal artillery or royal engineers if commissioned, after 21 years of age, £300, if 48 years of age, £300; lieutenant-colonels, after 3 years as such, with 15 years’ service, £250, with 27 years’ service, £300, with 30 years’ service, £365, after term of employment as lieutenant-colonel commanding a unit, or staff appointment as lieutenant-colonel, or after 5 years as lieutenant-colonel cavalry and infantry, £420. Royal artillery, royal engineers and army service corps, £450; Colonels, after 5 years as colonel, cavalry and infantry, £420. Royal artillery, royal engineers and army service corps, £450, after completing the term of command of a regimental district or a regiment of foot-guards, or employed in any other capacity for three years, £450–£500 according to age; Brevet-colonels, with the substantive rank of lieutenant-colonel, receive, cavalry or infantry, £420; royal artillery, royal engineers and army service corps, £450. Major-generals retire at the age of 62 with a pension of £700; lieutenant-generals at 67 with £850; generals at 67 with £1000.
Officers whose first permanent commission bears date prior to the 1st of January, 1887, retire with a gratuity in lieu of pension.
Officers of the departmental corps retire either with pensions ranging from £1125 yearly to 10s. daily, or with gratuities ranging from £2500 to £1000.
Warrant officers with 5 years’ service as such, and 20 years’ total service, receive 3s. 6d. per diem if discharged from the service on account of disability, reduction of establishment or age. On discharge for any reasons (except misconduct or inefficiency) they receive from 3s. 6d. to 5s per diem, according to length of service and corps. If they have less than 5 years’ service as warrant officers, but not less than 21 years’ total service, they receive at least 3s. per diem; and if discharged at their own request after 18 years’ total service, 2s. 71 d.
Additional pensions are given at the rate of 6d. per diem for gallant conduct, and 11d. to 1s. per diem for re-employed pensioners on completing their second term of employment, with, 3d. per diem extra if promoted while so serving. Special pensions are also granted in exceptional cases.
For the purposes of pensions, non-commissioned officers are divided into four classes, corresponding roughly to quartermaster-sergeants, colour-sergeants, sergeants and corporals.
With not more than 21 years’ total service, and with the following continuous service in one of the above classes, the rates of pensions (per diem) are—
|Class.|| 12 years’ |
| 9 years’ |
| 6 years’ |
| 3 years’ |
|s. d.||s. d.||s. d.||s. d.|
|I.||2 9||2 6||2 3||2 0|
|II.||2 6||2 3||2 0||1 9|
|III.||2 3||2 0||1 9||1 6|
|IV.||1 8||1 6||1 4||1 0|
Privates (Class V.) receive the following pensions:—
| 21 years’|
| 20 years’|
| 19 years’|
| 18 years’|
| 14 to 18 years’|
|1s. 1d.||1s. 0d.||11d.||10d.||8d. to 10d.|