Research published by the UK's National Centre for Social Research has added to existing concerns over UK retirement provision by showing that 37% of Britons hope to retire before 65 years, despite nearly half having no retirement savings of their own.

Some 60% of the 3,000 survey respondents admitted that they thought anyone relying solely on the state pension to support them in their old age would be really poor or hard up. However four in ten had made no retirement provision for themselves and would therefore be reliant on the state in old age.

The research also found that two-thirds of those questioned found the pensions system overly complex, but noted that consumers seemed to be aware of the shortfall in their savings provision.

There isn’t a popular option. People want to have their cake and eat it – clearly they don’t want to work longer, they don’t want to pay higher taxes, but they do want better pensions, said Professor Ruth Hancock of the University of Essex, one of the report’s authors.