the nineteenth century

Early occupational pension schemes

The nineteenth century saw a small number of pension schemes being established in certain professions and companies.

More information on early occupational pension schemes

Two funds for the benefit of nurses were established in the late ninteenth century: the Trained Nurses' Annuity Fund and the Royal Pension Fund for Nurses.

More information about nurses' pensions

Charity pensions

However these schemes were unusual – most people continued to be reliant on families, charities and the poor law if they reached an age when they were unable to support themselves.

More information about charity pensions

Friendly Societies

In the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries groups of workers formed mutual and friendly societies to save for funeral costs and put money aside for old age, illness or unemployment. One of the earliest was established in 1707 for Oxford University's printers.[1] Membership of these societies had increased from 7,000 in 1801 to 300,000 in 1872.[2]


[1] Referred to in C.G. Lewin, Pensions and Insurance before 1800, p. 405.

[2] Figures from Pat Thane, Old Age in English History, p. 195.


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