According to a new report by the world's leading economic think tank the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) has revealed that Britain has the worst state pension of any major country in the developed world.
The study that was released this week calculated that the typical British worker will retire with a state pension and other benefits that are worth around 29% of what they had previously been earning. This compares to an average of 63% in other OECD countries, with those retiring in Italy and the Netherlands on average receiving more than 80% of what they had previously been earning.
To make things worse, the UK has a rapidly ageing population who are experiencing more and more poverty, as well as ill health in old age. Obesity is a particular problem, with 20% of British people over the age of 80 being classified as obese, whereas in places such as Italy the figure is as low as 10%.
The TUC general secretary, Frances O'Grady, said: "Working people in Britain face the biggest retirement cliff edge of any developed nation. We are letting down today's workers if we can't provide them with a decent retirement income."
Caroline Abrahams, the charity director at Age UK, said the report should serve as a "wake-up call".
She said: "Given the current situation, the state pension undoubtedly remains a vital tool in the fight against pensioner poverty, giving millions of older people a small element of financial security in an increasingly uncertain world. But the government must look at how auto enrolment into workplace pensions can work with the state pension to deliver a decent standard of living in retirement for everyone."
A Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) spokesman said that they were actively engaging with the issues and automatic enrolment will be an important factor in improving the retirement prospects of millions of workers.
"We have taken decisive action to address our changing population through a new, generous state pension, retaining the triple lock and protecting the poorest through pension credit, reducing pensioner poverty close to historically low levels. But there's always more to do. Thanks to automatic enrolment, around 11 million people will be newly saving or saving more into a workplace pension by 2018."