A quarter of pensioners in the Sesame poll have debt levels so high that they do not intend to pay it off and instead will die owing money which cannot be passed onto heirs.
Alastair Conway, head of customer propositions at Sesame said of the findings: “Startling though these findings are, it is important to see past the headline and through to what’s driving pensioners to take such drastic measures.
“People have to take control of their finances in the lead up to retirement and beyond, if we are to avoid adding to the UK’s mounting debt crisis.”
A low level of savings and state payouts could be to blame for an increase in debt as Axa found that most families could only survive three days on current state pension levels.
While many pensioners seem happy to take on debt they will not repay, Mr Conway warned that the introduction of “deathbed mortgages” means that repayments could be passed onto heirs.
Although current pensioners may be more comfortable with credit than their predecessors, debt advice can still be useful to people no matter what their age.