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Nearly three million people have delayed their plans to retire because they can't afford to


Almost three quarters of a million employees over 45 think they will never be able to retire completely because of lack of personal finances.

According to Prudential, nearly three million UK adults aged over 45 have delayed their plans to retire because of the recession or a personal financial emergency, or because they want to keep working to build a bigger pension pot, new research from Prudential shows.

More than 710,000 people - 24% who have delayed plans to retire - fear they will now never be able to afford to retire completely because the economic slowdown or a financial emergency has had such a devastating effect on their retirement savings, Prudential's nationwide Class of 2010 study shows.

Prudential's survey shows 9% - more than 1.6 million people - have put retirement plans on hold because of financial emergencies and the effects of the recession while 7% (nearly 1.3 million people) are giving up retirement plans in favour of working in an effort to boost pensions so they can retire at a later date.

And the recession has forced nearly one in five people (17%) to delay retirement for at least five years, while a further 51% believe they will have to wait between 12 months and five years before stopping work.

Martyn Bogira, defined contribution solutions director at Prudential, said: "It is imperative for people to realise what's at stake before they come to retire.

"Do you really want to work an extra five years beyond the date you could retire? It's one thing to want to continue to work, but quite another to be forced to as a result of not having saved enough money to be able to retire.

"Anyone earning an income should try to begin putting money into a pension, or other savings product, as soon as possible as the cost of delay is potentially a delay in when you can retire."