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The term "half-pay" referred to the pay or allowance an officer of the Royal Manticoran Navy received when in retirement or not in actual service, usually fifty percent of usual pay. This form of pay usually occurred during periods of peacetime, when fewer commands were available, but the High Ridge government used it to remove political enemies from active service. (HH9)
Half-pay officers were allowed to serve in the Merchant Marine as well as in friendly foreign services; however, there were sharp penalties for serving in a what where considered "threat nations" by the Foreign Office. (infodump)
- Article about the half-pay concept on Wikipedia