Over one in ten workers with a pension have slashed contributions or abandoned saving altogether in the past five years, new research reveals.
A survey by Prudential found the decision by 16% of the UK workforce to halt pension contributions could lead to a rise in pensioner poverty as more people plan to rely on the State.
The online survey, conducted between 23 and 30 April, asked 1,002 Britons in the standard final decade of their working life whether they had changed the focus of their pension over the past five years.
It found the number of people who expect to rely wholly or in part on state pensions is set to rise to 27% over the next decade, compared to 22% of those retiring this year.
Another Prudential survey of 1,000 adults aged over 45 conducted in November last year, revealed 9% of people have moved out of final salary schemes during the past five years, yet reliance on DC schemes is set to remain stable.
However, Prudential found there has not been an uptake in defined contribution (DC) scheme participation despite the culling of many final salary schemes which indicates workers are reducing contributions or have stopped paying into pensions.
Martyn Bogira, Prudential's director of Defined Contribution Solutions, branded the development 'disturbing'.
"With the growing body of evidence suggesting the state pension will be inadequate for many people in old age and with final salary schemes disappearing, now is the time for people to take advantage of the pension schemes which are available to them," he says.
Bogira believes company or personal pension schemes are the bedrock of a financially secure retirement as well as being tax efficient.
He urges workers to take the chance to pay as much as possible into a pension as well as talk to employers about pension options.
"The most important thing is don't give up and don't put it off. Paying into a pension is not something you can either afford to abandon or delay," he adds.
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