Eight out of 10 people contributing to a pension think their savings will be worth less than they had hoped when they retire.
They are expecting a pension shortfall averaging 30% – the equivalent of £159bn across the nation as a whole – according to stockbrokers Brewin Dolphin.
Just over half of those currently paying into a pension think the shortfall will be 20% or more, while 7% think they will receive 71% less than they had originally hoped.
Young people are most pessimistic about the amount of money they will have in retirement, even though this age group has most time to put the problem right.
But despite these fears, a fifth of men and a third of women admitted they had never reviewed their pension.
“This survey shows that most people are now resigned to the fact that their pensions will not deliver the returns they had originally expected,” said Brewin Dolphin’s Charlotte Black.
“But worryingly, many of these are not taking any action to address the problem and are sleepwalking into disaster,” she added.