New research shows that more than a third of British adults who have yet to retire have stopped paying into their pension plans.

The survey reveals that one in three (33%) of those who have put pension payments on hold have done so because they are out of work. And more than a quarter (27%) of respondents say that they can no longer afford the contributions.

The results of a U.K.-wide poll of 1,602 non-retired adults, the August survey was conducted by Research Plus on behalf of Prudential Assurance Company Ltd., London.

More than two-fifths (43%) of those who have stopped paying into their pensions do not plan to start again, despite the long-term impact it will have on their retirement income, the survey says.

“Tightening your belt when times are hard is sometimes necessary, and putting pension contributions on hold might seem an easy way to save money,” says Vince Smith-Hughes, head of business development at Prudential. However, neglecting pensions today means throwing money away tomorrow, as savers will miss out on perks, such as tax relief and employer contributions.

“Abandoning your pension pot really should be a last resort when times are tough, he adds. “By getting into the routine of saving into a pension as early as possible, savers will be able to ensure the comfortable retirement that they deserve.”