Page last updated at 04:20 GMT, Monday, 30 June 2008 05:20 UK

Third of Britons 'unable to save'

Piggy bank
The survey suggests just 51% are putting enough aside for retirement

One in three Britons cannot afford to put aside any savings for their retirement, new research suggests.

A survey of 6,381 people showed half of respondents were not saving enough for a comfortable life after work.

The survey is part of a report by life insurer Scottish Widows which suggests people are worried about how they will cope when they give up work.

The BBC's Richard Scott says the rising cost of living and the credit crunch seem to be affecting saving abilities.

Almost 60% of those surveyed said they would not be able to increase their savings over the next year, with about 40% saying they felt better off five years ago.

Just 51% of people are setting aside enough money to provide an adequate income during retirement, according to Scottish Widows.

The survey was carried out by YouGov in March.

The BBC's personal finance reporter Richard Scott said the authors of the report admitted recent rises in petrol and falls in house prices might mean the picture is even gloomier today.

'Save early'

Those who are paying enough into a pension are most likely to be male, over 50, working in the public sector, and earning between 30,000 and 50,000.

By contrast, women are far more likely to be failing to make any pension provision than men, as are people with children under five, the self-employed and those with debt.

The research, which monitors the retirement provision of people aged 30 plus, earning at least 10,000 a year, found there had been a slight increase - up 2% from last year - in the number of people making adequate retirement provision.

It found UK workers, who were not expecting to get their main pension income from a defined benefit scheme, were setting aside an average of 8.7% of their pay towards retirement, up from 7.9% in 2007.

Ian Naismith, of Scottish Widows, said: "While pensions savings are slowly starting to rise, there is still the real worry that in the current economic environment the nation is not doing enough to prepare for retirement."

Pensions Minister Mike O'Brien welcomed the news that pension saving was rising.

"The message must be clear - people should save and save early. This will make all the difference to their retirement incomes."

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