Australia's #1 for Law
Join 150,000 Australians every month. Ask a question, respond to a question and better understand the law today!
FREE - Join Now
A pension (, from Latin pensiō, "payment") is a fund into which a sum of money is added during an employee's employment years and from which payments are drawn to support the person's retirement from work in the form of periodic payments. A pension may be a "defined benefit plan", where a fixed sum is paid regularly to a person, or a "defined contribution plan", under which a fixed sum is invested that then becomes available at retirement age. Pensions should not be confused with severance pay; the former is usually paid in regular installments for life after retirement, while the latter is typically paid as a fixed amount after involuntary termination of employment prior to retirement.
The terms "retirement plan" and "superannuation" tend to refer to a pension granted upon retirement of the individual. Retirement plans may be set up by employers, insurance companies, the government, or other institutions such as employer associations or trade unions. Called retirement plans in the United States, they are commonly known as pension schemes in the United Kingdom and Ireland and superannuation plans (or super) in Australia and New Zealand. Retirement pensions are typically in the form of a guaranteed life annuity, thus insuring against the risk of longevity.
A pension created by an employer for the benefit of an employee is commonly referred to as an occupational or employer pension. Labor unions, the government, or other organizations may also fund pensions. Occupational pensions are a form of deferred compensation, usually advantageous to employee and employer for tax reasons. Many pensions also contain an additional insurance aspect, since they often will pay benefits to survivors or disabled beneficiaries. Other vehicles (certain lottery payouts, for example, or an annuity) may provide a similar stream of payments.
The common use of the term pension is to describe the payments a person receives upon retirement, usually under pre-determined legal or contractual terms. A recipient of a retirement pension is known as a pensioner or retiree.

View More On
  1. J

    QLD Drafting Consent Orders for Property Settlement?

    Hello all, Earlier this week I posted about whether to lawyer up or not. And just now before taking that step my ex and I have agreed to a financial/ property settlement. A 65/35 split in her favour, which I am ok with in order not to prolong this stressful process. We are now trying to...
  2. W

    QLD Signing Documents While Under Involuntary Treatment Order - Recourse?

    Whilst under an involuntary treatment order under the Mental Health Act Queensland, I signed the proceeds of the sale of my portion of the house to the ex-wife. I also took emergency superannuation payments totalling about 60000 covering her mortgage arrears. Can I get my money back?
  3. S

    VIC Debt Collectors Chasing Me for Deceased Brother's Debt?

    Hi, I have recently been contacted by a debt collector trying to recover a credit card debt my brother had. My brother was not born in Australia. We grew up in Australia, but he moved to Malaysia about 12 years ago, and has lived there since. He did have an Australian bank account and credit...
  4. Paul Winnell

    VIC Executor of Will Not Responding - What to Do?

    Hello all, My ex-wife passed away on the 19th October 2017. At the time of her passing, our children had been in my full time care for 5 years (my ex was heavy drug user - hence the divorce and early passing). The executor of will was quite hostile towards me - even accusing me of killing her...
  5. M

    WA Separation - Ex Won't Give Info for Financial Agreement?

    Hi everyone. Son is going through ugly separation / divorce. He has sent an email to her requesting information to fill in the agreement. All he got back was I don't agree and won't give him any information. i.e. bank details. What does he do now? They were only married for a year. Bad choice...
  6. burntcherub

    NSW Employer Denying I Worked for Them - Recourse?

    Hello, I was sexually harassed and bullied in the workplace and left in 2017. Since then I haven’t been fit for work, written off by health care providers and I’m eligible for salary continuance insurance. At the moment, I have a mental health plan and along with a pending salary continuance...
  7. C

    NSW Executor of Will has Conflict of Interest?

    My mum died in January. We couldn’t find a will. My brother “found” a will naming him as executor of will and got probate. We all have doubts about the validity of the will, but as the will divided all my mums’ property equally between her six children we decided not to contest it as it was what...
  8. R

    QLD Transferring Kiwi Superannuation to an Australian One?

    I'm a kiwi and have a super back home. I'm wanting to transfer my superannuation over to an Australian one but am having trouble finding one that allows kiwi saver to one super in Australia. My current one won't allow this. Any help much appreciated
  9. P

    WA Name on Birth Certificate Different from Name Used - Help?

    I was born with one surname, but when I was around 7-8yrs old my mother remarried and against my real father's permission, they changed my surname to that of my step-father. So from that age I have been known as a name I was never legally given. My school records, bank accounts, tax file...
  10. George81

    QLD Property and Assets After a Divorce?

    Hi Their, I am currently taking steps to go through a divorce in Queensland. I own two properties and a vehicle solely in my name including superannuation. We have 3 kids that my ex will look after 100% of the time. My question is, can we get a solicitor to draw up an agreement between us that...