A new report has claimed that many people in the future would like to retire early but may be forced into working beyond the age of 70.

The study, by Friends Provident, found that most workers would like to retire early at 62 but the increased cost of living, together with inadequate pensions, means that 40% of those questioned expected to keep working beyond the new state retirement age of 66.

The survey, entitled Visions of Britain 2020: Ageing and Retirement, comes after the Chancellor George Osborne last month announced the raising of the state pension age to 66 for both men and women whilst warning that it may rise even further in the future.

Already one in eight workers is carrying on beyond the current retirement age of 60 for women and 65 for men with that figure rising by 78,000 in the past year alone. It is likely to remain high in the coming decade, especially as the survey found that almost a third had not saved for old age.

Pensions expert Ros Altmann said: “We’ve had years to prepare for this demographic timebomb, but unfortunately over the last decade or more, the previous Government systematically undermined pensions saving and failed to prepare us properly for what’s coming.”

A government report, written by former Labour minister Lord Hutton, last month said that millions of public sector workers should expect to pay more into their pensions and be forced to retire later in life.