Over one third of UK consumers think they will have enough money to live on when they retire, compared to just 12% who are very confident they can look forward to a comfortable retirement, according to a November 2006 survey of UK over-16s by Which? Money.

According to the watchdog, there is a gap of around GBP12,000 a year between the sum that people would like to live on in retirement and what the basic state pension will provide. It commented that, on average, consumers expect that they will require GBP312 a week after tax for a comfortable retirement, a sum that far exceeds the current basic state pension of just GBP84.25 a week.

Which? Money commented that, while some consumers will have access to income from alternative sources such as partners, the majority of consumers are likely to need to make other savings to bridge the gap. It added that, worryingly, more than a third of those it surveyed are not currently saving for their retirement using pension schemes, savings and investments or property.

Martyn Hocking, editor of Which? Money, commented: It is worrying that one in three people aren’t sure they’ll have enough to live on when they get older. There’s a huge difference between the amount of income people want to have in retirement and the amount they’ll get from the government.

He added: The basic rule is that you should start saving for your retirement as early as you can, the longer you leave it, the more you will need to save.