The average UK pensioner can expect to receive just 29 per cent of what they earned while at work and only Mexico, South Africa and Indonesia deliver tougher terms to their elderly, according to a new report from the Organisation of Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD).
And the study found that current poverty levels of those aged 75 and over are 18.5 per cent, compared to 11 per cent among the whole population.
There is also a massive gulf between the average take-home pension for retirees in the developed countries of the OECD compared to those in Britain.
In the UK full-career average earners are only able to claim 29 per cent of their earnings, compared to an OECD average of 63 per cent, leading to a contrasting quality of life for the elderly oliving in other developed countries.
The report says: “People who have had sufficient income during their working lives to save, buy their own home, and contribute to private pensions, have relatively good incomes compared to younger generations.
“However, retirees without such additional sources of revenue are left with few resources – this is reflected in the poverty rate and high income inequality in the UK.”
The research shows a full career of private saving could boost average replacement rates for British retirees by approximately 30 per cent, and that a new single-tier state pension should help.
The report says Britain’s pension problems are compounded by obesity, one of the main risk factors causing health problems, is very common among older people in the UK.
England has a significant population of overweight pensioners with more than 20 per cent of the over-80s considered obese, compared to 15 per cent in the United States and less than 10 per cent in countries such as Austria, Denmark and Italy.
The TUC said the government needed to improve the way the pension system works in the UK.
Frances O’Grady, the TUC’s general secretary said: “Working people in Britain face the biggest retirement cliff edge of any developed nation.
“The OECD has confirmed what we have long suspected – the UK is bottom of the league for pension provision”.