Millions born between the mid- 1960s and mid-1980s, known as Generation X, will be approaching retirement by 2028 without a pension pot big enough to live on.
As many as 43 per cent of this age group – currently between 34 and 54 – do not have a private pension or any retirement savings at all and have resigned themselves to poverty as they grow old.
Only one in 10 of more than 2,000 surveyed is confident their savings will support them.
Just four per cent of those without a private pension say they are confident that the state will support them.
Nigel Jump, professor of economic development at Bournemouth University, said: “This research reflects current economic uncertainty, with households and individuals losing trust in financial institutions and the Government.
“Pensions used to be a longterm commitment, with security and sustainability invested on both sides.
“Sadly, whatever you think about cause and effect, the recession of 2008-9, its aftermath, and the regulatory and tax changes to private and public pensions have punctured confidence in institutional promises.
“Moreover, with interest rates held so low for so long, a reluctance to make longterm financial commitments is to be expected.”
The research also found as many as 47 per cent of women are not saving in any way and are more likely to have given up saving into a private pension than men (30 per cent against 26 per cent).
Greg Secker, of Learn to Trade, which commissioned the survey, said: “We encourage all Britons to be evaluating how they can best plan for their future… with a growing lack of confidence in private pensions and their deficits.”