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mid-14c., "payment for services," especially "reward, payment out of a benefice" (early 14c., in Anglo-Latin), from Old French pension "payment, rent" (13c.) and directly from Latin pensionem (nominative pensio) "a payment, installment, rent," from past participle stem of pendere "pay, weigh" (see pendant). Meaning "regular payment in consideration of past service" first recorded 1520s. Meaning "boarding house, boarding school" first attested 1640s, from French, and usually in reference to places in France or elsewhere on the Continent.
1640s, "to live in a pension," from pension (n.) or else from French pensionner. Meaning "to grant a pension" is from 1702. Related: Pensioned; pensioning.
Payments made to a retired person either by the government or by a former employer.