As many as 26% of people approaching the age of 50 have no pension or retirement savings, according to research published today.
The survey of 2,001 people from NFU Mutual found 64% of respondents aged 18 to 24 also had no provision in place to keep them financially afloat in later life.
Pension and retirement specialist Steve Meredith said: "People might read these findings and worry - or worse still, bury their head in the sand about their own retirement planning."
The study comes in the wake of research from Prudential which found women were twice as likely as men to be unsure what their main source of income in retirement would be.
The NFU Mutual survey identified 48 as the age when people truly realise how much they need to save for retirement and when they would realistically be able to exit the workforce.
According to the study, those approaching retirement are prepared to push their plans back by an average of four years "as they re-evaluate what is realistic".
One in ten of those working past the age of 55 also said they never expected to be able to retire.
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