Definition of pension noun from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary



BrE BrE//ˈpenʃn//
; NAmE NAmE//ˈpenʃn//
Pay and conditions at work, Old age
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 an amount of money paid regularly by a government or company to somebody who is considered to be too old or too ill/sick to work to receive an old-age/a retirement pension a disability/widow’s pension a state pension to live on a pension to take out a personal/private pension a pension fund CollocationsThe ages of lifeChildhood/​youth be born and raised/​bred in Oxford; into a wealthy/​middle-class family have a happy/​an unhappy/​a tough childhood grow up in a musical family/​in an orphanage/​on a farm be/​grow up an only child (= with no brothers or sisters) reach/​hit/​enter/​go through adolescence/​puberty be in your teens/​early twenties/​mid-twenties/​late twenties undergo/​experience physical/​psychological changes give in to/​succumb to/​resist peer pressure assert your independence/​individualityAdulthood leave school/​university/​home go out to work (at sixteen) get/​find a job/​partner be/​get engaged/​married have/​get a wife/​husband/​mortgage/​steady job settle down and have kids/​children/​a family begin/​start/​launch/​build a career (in politics/​science/​the music industry) prove (to be)/represent/​mark/​reach a turning point in your life/​career reach/​be well into/​settle into middle age have/​suffer/​go through a midlife crisis take/​consider early retirement approach/​announce/​enjoy your retirementOld age have/​see/​spend time with your grandchildren take up/​pursue/​develop a hobby get/​receive/​draw/​collect/​live on a pension approach/​save for/​die from old age live to a ripe old age reach the grand old age of 102/23 (often ironic) be/​become/​be getting/​be going senile (often ironic) die (peacefully)/pass away in your sleep/​after a brief illness CollocationsFinanceIncome earn money/​cash/(informal) a fortune make money/​a fortune/(informal) a killing on the stock market acquire/​inherit/​amass wealth/​a fortune build up funds/​savings get/​receive/​leave (somebody) an inheritance/​a legacy live on a low wage/​a fixed income/​a pension get/​receive/​draw/​collect a pension depend/​be dependent on (British English) benefits/(North American English) welfare/​social securityExpenditure spend money/​your savings/(informal) a fortune on… invest/​put your savings in… throw away/​waste/ (informal) shell out money on… lose your money/​inheritance/​pension use up/ (informal) wipe out all your savings pay (in) cash use/​pay by a credit/​debit card pay by/​make out a/​write somebody a/​accept a (British English) cheque/(US English) check change/​exchange money/​currency/(British English) traveller’s cheques/(US English) traveler’s checks give/​pay/​leave (somebody) a depositBanks have/​hold/​open/​close/​freeze a bank account/​an account credit/​debit/​pay something into/​take money out of your account deposit money/​funds in your account withdraw money/​cash/£30 from an ATM, etc. (formal) make a deposit/​withdrawal find/​go to/​use (especially North American English) an ATM/(British English) a cash machine/​dispenser be in credit/​in debit/​in the black/​in the red/​overdrawnPersonal finance manage/​handle/​plan/​run/ (especially British English) sort out your finances plan/​manage/​work out/​stick to a budget offer/​extend credit (to somebody) arrange/​take out a loan/​an overdraft pay back/​repay money/​a loan/​a debt pay for something in (especially British English) instalments/(usually North American English) installmentsFinancial difficulties get into debt/​financial difficulties be short of/ (informal) be strapped for cash run out of/​owe money face/​get/ (informal) be landed with a bill for £… can’t afford the cost of…/payments/​rent fall behind with/ (especially North American English) fall behind on the mortgage/​repayments/​rent incur/​run up/​accumulate debts tackle/​reduce/​settle your debts CulturepensionsPensions are regular payments made to people who have retired from work. Most people retire and start to receive a pension when they are about 60 or 65. The amount of money they receive depends on how much they have paid into their pension scheme and also on the type of scheme.In Britain, a basic state pension has been provided by the government since 1908 for those who paid National Insurance contributions while they were working. Pensions for each generation are paid for out of the contributions of people still working. A problem arising from this arrangement is that more people now live longer but the number of younger people in work has fallen, so that there is less money to pay for pensions.Some pensioners complain that the state pension does not provide enough money for them to have a reasonable standard of living. People who do not qualify for a state pension, e.g. because they have not paid enough National Insurance, may receive income support if they have no other source of money. War pensions for soldiers injured on duty are also paid by the government.There are several other kinds of pension which pay larger amounts of money, though people have to pay more towards them. There are many company pension schemes, into which both workers and their employers pay certain amounts. A similar scheme, SERPS (= State Earnings-Related Pension Scheme), was started by the government in 1978 for people who could not join a company scheme. Some people, especially those who are self-employed, belong to private pension schemes arranged through insurance companies. The money paid into company or private pension schemes is invested in the stock market and the pension funds, the organizations that manage this money, are among the most important investors in the City. In the 1980s the government encouraged people to leave SERPS and company pension schemes and take out private pensions instead and in some cases, where private pension funds have been a poor investment, people have lost money.In the US there are three main types of pensions. The US government operates a programme called social security, and people who work have to pay into this programme. The amount of money they get when they retire depends on how much they earned when they were working, but it is never a lot. It would be difficult to live only on social security payments, and so people also arrange to receive a pension from another source.Many employers and unions operate pension programmes for their workers. As in Britain both employers and workers put money into these private pension funds and the money is invested. By law, pension funds must report to the government and to their members about the way they manage the money. Many people who want to be sure of having enough money when they retire also make their own personal arrangements. One common way of doing this is by opening a special bank account called an IRA, or Individual Retirement Account. With this kind of account people pay less tax than normal, but must agree to leave the money in the bank until they retire. See related entries: Pay and conditions at work, Old age Word Origin late Middle English (in the sense ‘payment, tax, regular sum paid to retain allegiance’): from Old French, from Latin pensio(n-) ‘payment’, from pendere ‘to pay’. The current verb sense dates from the mid 19th cent.Extra examples Employees enjoy generous retirement pensions. He draws his pension at the post office. He is now retired and on a pension. Only half of all women qualify for a full state pension. She lives on her pension and her savings. State pensions are funded by taxpayers. The state pension age for men and women will be 65. You will have to find out whether or not you qualify for a pension. the company pension fund workers who have lost all their pensions as a result of company insolvencies