Two-thirds of women think they will face poverty in old age because they cannot afford to save for retirement.
Research by Age Concern and the Fawcett Society find that women's irregular work patterns, caring responsibilities and often lower wages means only 30 per cent of female workers think they are saving enough for the future.
The survey finds that just under half of men feel they will have enough put aside in later life.
Katherine Rake, director of the Fawcett Society, which campaigns for gender equality, said the state pension was particularly important to women because of lower pay, broken employment records and less access to occupational pensions.
But, she said: "The current state pension is not working for women as it is based on the old assumption of men as the breadwinners and women as stay-at-home carers."