The proportion of workers saving into a workplace pension has reached a five-year high this year, helped by the governments auto-enrolment scheme and improvements in the wider economic environment, according to Scottish Widows tenth annual retirement report.
A survey of more than 5,000 workers aged 30 or over and earning at least £10,000 a year, showed the biggest ever year-on-year rise in pension saving, up to 53% from 45% in 2013.
The monthly amount people are saving outside a pension has also increased over recent years, up from £54 in 2006 to £130 in 2014, while the total amount of individual savings and investments is at its highest ever level, at an average £40,000 per person.
Scottish Widows pensions expert Ian Naismith said: 'A decade of tracking retirement savings trends has shown us the impact that events such as the recession, auto-enrolment and the recent Budget announcements have had on the nation's savings behaviour.
'It is heartening to see that finally people are starting to sit up and take notice of the importance of planning for the future - whether this be through proactively upping their contributions due to a more favourable economic climate, or starting to make plans for their retirement for the first time thanks to auto-enrolment.'
The pension provider added that improving attitudes towards finances and the wider economy have also played a role. Some 37% of people surveyed said they felt optimistic about their long-term finances compared to 32% in 2013.
The number of people citing affordability as a reason not to save for their retirement continued to fall, from 71% in 2012 to 68% in 2013 and to 59% in 2014. The number of people free from debt also reveals a positive trend, increasing from 13% in 2012, to 14% in 2013 and 16% in 2014.
Commenting on the figures, Malcolm McLean, senior consultant at Barnett Waddingham, said the data showed that after many years of stagnation 'we may just have turned a corner'.
'The only blot on the horizon in what is otherwise a most encouraging report is the suggestion that in many instances there appears to be a misalignment between expectation and reality and that perhaps as many as 60% of the population do not know what they need to save to secure their desired level of income in retirement.
'This points to the need for more guidance and advice to be provided to consumers both in the workplace and elsewhere with a view to ensuring that they get the best returns from their pension saving in all circumstances.'
But at Hargreaves Lansdown, head of pension research Tom McPhail said the figures highlighted some significant gaps.
'The self-employed are excluded from auto-enrolment and due to the eligibility criteria, so far more people have missed out on auto-enrolment (3.9 million employees) than have been brought into workplace savings (3.3 million).
'With auto-enrolment looking like a success, we now need to promote the benefits of retirement saving to those still excluded and to encourage higher savings rates from those who are now planning ahead for retirement.'