The UKs ageing workforce is facing a midlife savings crisis, with one-fifth of people in their fifties and sixties currently unable to put aside anything for retirement.
That is according to new research by Aviva, which shows everyday living expenses are making it impossible for many to save, while millions of older workers are unaware of how much they will need.
In addition, two-thirds of people aged 50-59 are failing to ramp up pension saving in the run-up to retirement, despite 51 being the average age they expect to reach their peak earnings.
"It is worrying to see so many of the UK's older workers in the dark over how much they need to save to afford a comfortable retirement," Aviva Savings and Retirement managing director, Lindset Rix, said.
"Planning and provisioning for retirement can be a great unknown, and complicated for many, but burying your head in the sand will only worsen the situation."
Although many fail to increase pension saving, the research shows that a quarter of older workers spend less after turning 50, with 15% doing so because they have already reduced working hours or work part-time.
However, it also reveals that 43% of people in their fifties either save infrequently, or not at all, with 10% using their higher disposable income to spend more post-50.
Many of those that have changed their spending habits as they have got older have done so to help younger generations, with one in ten saying they spend more on their children and less on themselves.
It was also found that four million older workers have not calculated how much they will need in retirement, which is thought to mean that many of their saving habits are not reflecting the reality of their situations.
"These findings show the importance of industry and government taking action to help consumers become better informed and active savers," Rix continued.
"This includes using auto-enrolment to encourage contributions from a younger age, and implementing the pensions dashboard so that people can view their savings and track their progress in one place.
"It also involves using concepts like a mid-life financial MOT or career review to help those in their fifties take stock and plan for later life, including health and well-being as well as financial priorities."