Replacement income can be equated with security. In earlier times income replacement funds were often not spoken of in some liquid currency. Income replacement benefits were, in the more agrarian period in the life of most industrialized nations, would be seen in terms of livestock, stored crops such as wheat or corn or some other grain. They could also be spoken of in terms of hides or other products created from the animal or agricultural products of the time period.
Still, whenever speaking of replacement income, the basic issues of shelter, food and protection from the elements persist as essentials that prompted the need for income replacement funds. Whether these necessities of life were provided with currency or some other form of income replacement benefits, one of the basic human tasks was making certain these basic human needs were provided for for oneself or a person’s loved ones.
Whether by diligence, thrift, sweat and hard work, or some combination of these, replacement income had to be found. Failure to secure adequate income replacement funds resulted in shortages, at best. At worst, not providing adequate income replacement benefits could lead to some rather serious consequences including, but not limited to, loss of home, loss of food and loss of some of the other creature comforts.
Therefore, finding adequate and appropriate replacement income has always been a necessary function of the family or some other source.
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Publication 575 (2011) Pension and Annuity Income