After military personnel the next group of people to be paid pensions were civil servants. One of the first was a superannuation fund started for New Jersey teachers in 1818. Great Britain was not far behind with pensions being paid to government employees under the Superannuation Acts passed in 1834.
It was not until 1920 that the US government introduced a pension scheme for its employees. Very much like the defined benefits schemes that exist in Australia, the pension paid was based on the employee’s years of service and final average salary.
It took the Australian government two more years to set up a pension fund for its employees. In 1922 the Superannuation Fund Management Board was formed. At the end of its first year of operation the fund had 26,876 members and was paying 299 pensions.
There was a common feature of most age pension systems introduced overseas and in Australia. This was the age at which someone was eligible to receive it was unfortunately well past their average life expectancy.