Only one-fifth (21%) of respondents said that saving for retirement was their top financial priority, according to research by Friends Life.
Its survey of 1,600 employees over the age of 50, found that this age group is more focused on making ends meet (23%), saving for holidays or leisure activities (15%) or repaying debts (14%).
However, the figures are positive when compared to responses from 10 years ago, when 9% were prioritising saving for retirement.
Colin Williams, managing director, corporate benefits at Friends Life, said: “While our research shows people are more focused on saving for their retirement than they were ten years ago, it is worrying that only 21% listed this as being one of their top five financial priorities.
“This just highlights the fact that it is more important than ever to get the message through that saving for retirement is crucial.
“If many are struggling to make ends meet while they are still working, then they may find themselves in more dire straits when they reach retirement, so early planning is critical.”