Many pensioners may not have enough income to meet their needs as they get older and need more care, a think tank has warned.
The Pensions Policy Institute (PPI) said pensioners may not have sufficient resources to cover the additional costs of later life, such as disability, being widowed or needing long-term care.
Research carried out by the group found that people's needs and expectations for their retirement income changed during the course of their post-working years.
It said people tended to spend a large proportion of their income on leisure and recreation in the early years of their retirement, but this typically decreased between the ages of 75 and 85 as they lost their mobility.
Spending tended to increase again around the age of 85 due to people developing disabilities, being widowed and needing long-term care.
But the PPI said most pensioners' income declined during retirement compared with the incomes of the rest of the population, because pensions tended to increase each year in line with prices rather than earnings, although the basic state pension will rise in line with earnings in future.
Niki Cleal, PPI director, said: "Pensioners may not have sufficient resources to meet all of their extra needs in later life, such as to meet the additional costs of disability, widowhood or the need for long-term care and to maintain their desired standard of living.
"This research shows that pensioners will need a range of assets and sources of income to help them cope with the uncertainty and extra costs they may face later in their life as a result of the onset of disability, widowhood or the need for long-term care."
Liberal Democrat shadow work and pensions secretary Steve Webb said: "Labour's changes to the pension system will do nothing to prevent pensioners becoming poorer as they get older.
"The basic state pension is simply too little to live on for the millions of pensioners who have no other income. Pensioners should not be forced to rely on complex means-tested benefits in their retirement, which has put many off from even claiming."
North Wales Daily Post, 28th April 2009