It is the purpose of these notes to set out briefly the most prominent features of Pension Funds. No attempt will be made to go into the many intricate questions involved when formulae have to be deduced.
The primary purpose of a Pension Fund is to make provision for the declining years of life, and therefore some form of benefit accruing at superannuation is always included. It is found, however, that allowance has usually to be made for other causes of cessation of activity, and so benefits upon retirement through ill-health, upon voluntary withdrawal, and upon death before the attainment of the age which normally qualifies a member for a pension, are introduced. Thus, in a full scheme, after certain initial periods have passed, practically the only case in which no tangible benefit is derived is that in which a man is dismissed for misconduct.
It will be recognised at once that with four main types of benefit as a basis and an illimitable fund of human ingenuity upon which to draw, the number of different allowances found in practice is very great. Only a few can be indicated here.