Pension savers in their final years of work are concerned they will not be able to match the living standards of those who have already retired, according to research by Prudential.
In its survey of 744 UK adults who are up to 10 years away from retirement, 54% said they thought they would be worse off at retirement than current retirees.
It also showed over a third (34%) now regret not starting to save into a pension earlier, and exactly one third said they simply wished they had saved more for their retirement.
Meanwhile, exactly half of all respondents admitted to being ‘jealous' of the finances of those who have already stopped work, and 63% said the best advice they could give to those who have just started work is to save as much as they can for as long as possible.
Also, 16% admitted they were not saving into a pension at all, and just 13% admitted to having been unrealistic about the age at which they would be able to afford to retire.
Consumer Intelligence conducted the independent online survey and separate online interviews between 26 May and 5 June on behalf of Prudential.
The firm's director of specialist business support Vince Smith-Hughes said people must start saving and thinking about their pension as soon as they start work.
"Members must think about their pension as they would think about saving for rent or a mortgage. It should be one of the critical spending priorities people have every month, if they want a healthy retirement.
"As the majority of employees are now in automatic enrolment (AE), we need to go to stage two and get them to pay in the contributions they need to pay in order to have a good retirement."
He added that to build on the success of AE, there should be campaigns explaining to people the importance of paying into a pension.
However, the same research showed two in five (40%) believe they would be as financially comfortable as those who have already retired, while 6% said they would actually be better off at retirement.
Also, more than a quarter (27%) of those within 10 years of retirement have been saving into a pension since they started work.
Prudential retirement expert Stan Russel said: "We've seen the retirement incomes of new retirees creeping upwards in the last few years so it's not all bad news for those planning to give up work in the coming years.
"However, we are also seeing it become far less common for people to retire with generous ‘final-salary' pensions, so a degree of retirement envy among those still at work is understandable."
He added it is important to remember that for most people it is not too late to take action and make a real difference to their quality of life when the time comes to stop work.
"So even later in their working life most people should benefit from saving as much as possible into their pensions and also ensuring the National Insurance contributions they have made are sufficient to guarantee them the state pension."
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