‘People will need at least £13,000 a year to fund retirement’

The chief executive of charity Anchor, which provides housing for the elderly, said too many people had not started the savings habit early, and needed proper financial planning.

She said: “While it is important to aspire to happy living in later years, it will only become a reality if people in their 30s, 40s and 50s get set up for the future now. It is therefore worth exploring the full range of retirement options.”

Ms Ashcroft pointed to research from Anchor, which found that 44 per cent of people are not currently paying in to a private pension and almost a fifth – 19 per cent – have not arranged a pension at all.

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Those in the 35-44 age range (56 per cent) were most likely to be paying into a private pension.

The perfect retirement lifestyle required people to save £1,126 a month over their working lives (25 years), equivalent to £13,512 a year, according to the research, which canvassed 2,000 people.

Roughly 20 per cent of those aged 45-60 revealed they would rely on a state pension as their main retirement income.

Ms Ashcroft added: “Some aspirations may not be met without more advance planning.”

Adviser View

Martin Dodd, partner and financial planner at Wolverhampton-based Midlands Investment Agency, said: “The big question for all of us is are we going to have enough saved for a comfortable retirement? The more time you have to do something about your situation the less painful it’s likely to be.”