Higher-rate tax payers are missing out on £225m in tax relief every year by failing to pay into a pension, according to Prudential.
A survey by the insurer of 302 higher-rate tax payers found 1 in 10 make no contribution to a pension.
Extrapolated nationwide this means as many as 90,000 higher rate taxpayers are paying nothing into a pension, missing out on £2,510 in tax relief a year each.
The Pru also found the average amount put into a pension by higher-rate tax payers who do save is £523 a month or £6,276 a year, far below the £40,000 annual allowance.
The Government has come under fire for bringing more people into higher-rate tax by lowering the tax thresholds.
Prudential tax specialist Clare Moffat says this also has an upside, though people are failing to capitalise on it.
She says: “With a lower threshold for higher-rate tax more people stand to benefit from extra tax relief on pension contributions. However, our research shows that a significant number of higher-rate taxpayers are passing up the opportunity to receive an extra helping hand with their future retirement income. “
Although 6 in 10 people paying into a defined contribution group pension do receive or claim their relief, some 15 per cent do not know if they are receiving the benefit. Another 6 per cent made no additional contributions.
Moffat says savers should not assume they are receiving all of the relief they should be.
She says: “Members of occupational pension schemes receive basic and higher-rate tax relief automatically through their payroll.
“But members of personal pension schemes, including group personal pension schemes, self invested personal pensions and stakeholder pensions, only receive basic rate 20 per cent tax relief automatically. They need to claim the additional relief through their annual tax return or by informing HMRC.”