One in five pensioners in the UK lives on an income of less than GBP5,000 a year and 2% said that poverty has made them contemplate suicide, according to a survey by insurance group Prudential.

The reseach graphically shows the poverty that thousands of pensioners in the UK face. Over 60% of retired people surveyed said that they had to cut back on spending, with 18% reducing the amount spent on heating and electricity. A fifth said that thinking about money made them anxious or depressed.

Retirement should be about enjoying your free time, perhaps seeing more of the family, said Prudential’s executive director, Roger Ramsden. It should not be about cutting back on clothes, heating and doctor’s appointments because of money worries.

Almost a quarter (23%) of pensioners have been forced back to work and 8% have resorted to using assets they had planned to leave as inheritance.