The Great Recession may have caused about 40% of U.S. workers to put off their anticipated retirement dates.

Consultants at Towers Watson & Company, New York (NYSE:TW), have reported that finding Clockin a summary of results from a survey of 9,100 employees conducted in May and June.

The consultants found that 40% of the survey participants said they were planning to retire later than they had anticipated in mid-2008.

Older workers and workers in poor health were especially likely to want to delay retirement, and 68% of the older workers who are expecting to postpone retirement said they hope to do so to keep their health coverage. That compares with 61% who attributed the delay to a drop in the value of 401(k) plan assets.

About 37% of the survey participants who are in a 401(k) plan said they intend to increase their contributions over the next 12 months, and 51% intend to keep contributions at the same level.

- Allison Bell