Some 39% of people in the UK have a financial plan to save for their retirement - far fewer than people in Malaysia and China, a report suggests.
The HSBC survey, which quizzed 17,000 people in 17 countries, concluded that up to 84% of people in Malaysia were making provision for retirement.
Half of those asked in the UK thought they would be worse off in their old age than their parents.
However, they face a tough economic landscape and money pressures.
Many have also seen their parents face a number of issues with pension providers in previous years.
"People are aware that they need to do something for their retirement and for various reasons they are not doing it," said Malcolm McLean, of actuarial firm Barnett Waddingham.
"If they have access to a company scheme, then they should join it, because if they do not, then they are turning away wages."
The survey by HSBC, which is itself a pension provider, found that people who were planning for their retirement had saved an average of £123,000 for retirement.
In the UK, this stood at an average of £53,000, although Mr McLean told the BBC that, in relative terms, people in the UK still had pension options that compared favourably with many other countries.
Many people in the UK were hoping to reduce their working hours by switching to a part-time job in their 50s, before retiring at about 62, the survey found.
About 21% of them said they would rely on the state pension as their main source of income.
The National Association of Pension Funds said: "We must begin to think differently about the way we approach financial planning for retirement.
"The report suggests that Britons currently have a culture of dependency on the state, which is a false economy. People have to take greater personal responsibility for their retirement and rely less on the state, by planning more effectively and saving more for themselves."
The Department for Work and Pensions said that it was introducing a system that automatically enrolled people into workplace pensions in order to tackle the issue of a lack of pension planning.