Around a half of todays over 50s will have to save more and work longer if they want an adequate income in retirement, according to research jointly sponsored by the Actuarial Profession.
Retirement income and assets: the implications for retirement income of Government policies to extend working lives, found that around 85% of over-50s working in 2011 might have sufficient state and private pension income to meet a minimum acceptable standard of living if they work and save until state pension age.
The research, carried out by the Pensions Policy Institute and jointly sponsored by the Profession, Age UK, Aviva and Partnership, deemed £11,000 a year income as the amount needed to maintain this standard.
But, the report said that for many people an income in retirement at this level was 'unlikely' to be considered adequate.
Around 45% of today's over 50s would have to work and save for 11 or more years beyond the state pension age to replicate their working life living standards in retirement.
Niki Cleal, PPF director, said: 'This demonstrates that many people need to start saving more today if they want to avoid having to work much longer than they planned and want to have an adequate retirement income in the future.'
Jane Curtis, president of the Institute and Faculty of Actuaries, said the research would help to identify the problems that await over 50s as they reach state pension age - as well as the issues regulators, policy makers and the financial services industry need to tackle.
In particular, she said the report showed that the proportion of people working beyond the state pension age was already increasing. This 'suggests that a declining ability to afford a retirement lifestyle commensurate with their existing one is a reason why many people are choosing to continue working', she said.
The research found that 40% of over 50s currently in work were on target to retire at state pension age and have an income enabling them to retain their current lifestyle.
Significantly, 50% of those with existing DB benefits were on track to reach that goal, and a further 20% could reach it by working for between one and 10 years more.
This compares with over 60% of those with no existing DB benefits who are not on track to receive a retirement income that enables them to retain their current lifestyle on retirement - even if they work for more than 10 years after the state pension age.
'Prior membership of a defined benefit pension scheme is an important characteristic in splitting the pensions haves from the have not's,' Ms Curtis said.
She added: 'What is now clear is that there are a number of problems awaiting the over 50's as they approach retirement. Consumers need more help to understand the impact that what they save now has on what they receive later.
'The financial services industry, employers and the Government need to work together to better communicate the options that are available to individuals, the benefits of these options and the over-arching message that you must save if you want to retire with an income that is sufficient to retain your current lifestyle.'