Some 30 per cent of people aged over 55 do not have an active pension plan, according to research by Aegon.
The provider says in this group, which made up 278 of the 1,191 workers surveyed, half do not have a back up plan to provide income if they are unable to work before they retire.
This figures rises to 67 per cent of those aged between 45 and 54, of which there were 378 people surveyed.
Wales and the south west of England have the biggest provision shortages, where 46 per cent and 42 per cent of respondents respectively have no personal or workplace pensions.
Aegon says 32 per cent of over-55s do not know how much money they will need to live comfortably when they retire.
Aegon UK managing director of retail and at-retirement Duncan Jarrett says: “Perhaps the most worrying finding of all is that these poor planning trends are evident in those closest to retirement, in the 55+ age bracket. Many industry analysts and the media have previously claimed there is a pensions time bomb ticking in the UK, but our study suggests time has almost run out.”