More than a quarter of the population has stopped saving since the financial crisis in 2008, a poll by pension provider Now Pensions has warned.
It said 28% of the 2,000 people it surveyed stopped saving when the downturn struck and have not saved since.
Among them, 74% felt that the country has no savings culture and 32% had less than £500 in savings while 15% had none.
The main factors blamed for this were frozen wages and rising bills, though 10% saw no purpose in savings while interest rates are so low.
Savings had fallen significantly among the baby boomer generation - those aged 51-71 - where 32% had stopped saving and 11% had no savings.
By contrast among 'generation Y' - those aged 18-31 - 38% said they were saving money.
The most popular solution to the lack of a savings culture was better financial education in schools, mentioned by 58% of respondents, followed by 22% who suggested workplace education.
Just over one-third wanted the Bank of England to raise interest rates, 18% called for a cut in VAT and 17% wanted higher cash ISA limit.
But 53% thought changes to workplace pensions with auto-enrolment would play a big part in helping younger generations to have a more financially secure retirement.
Now Pensions chief executive Morten Nilsson said: 'With low interest rates and the rising cost of living, saving has inevitably taken a back seat for many. But the recession isn't solely to blame for the lack of a savings culture in Britain.
'As credit has become more accessible and acceptable, the motivation to save has diminished. To transform this, more needs to be done to help people recognise the value of saving, for both their short and long-term financial security.'
He said changes to workplace pensions would encourage savings so long as employers stressed the benefits of staying opted in to the scheme.