One in six working people here (17 per cent) believe they will never be able to retire from all paid employment.

A study by HSBC has found that three-fifths of working adults either plan to semi-retire (57 per cent) or are already semi-retired (4 per cent).

Semi-retirement, which entails cutting back on working hours but continuing in some paid employment, is not yet the norm here: only 38 per cent were offered the option to semi-retire. But among those given the option, 81 per cent took it up.

HSBC's Singapore-based study, titled The Future of Retirement: Life After Work, involved polling 1,000 respondents here between July last year and April this year.

Respondents who indicated they would opt for semi-retirement said it was because they wanted to keep their minds alert (57 per cent), because they enjoyed working (43 per cent) and because they wanted to ease into retirement (41 per cent).

But almost a third (30 per cent) of them said they will semi-retire because they cannot afford to retire full-time; 23 per cent need to continue in some form of work to bridge a shortfall in retirement income.

While 88 per cent of retirees thought their retirement preparations were at least adequate, 9 per cent of retirees admitted to having failed to prepare adequately or at all for a comfortable retirement.

Harmander Mahal, the head of customer value management, retail banking and wealth management in HSBC Singapore, said: "Semi-retirement has unfortunately become the prevailing lifestyle for many who cannot afford to fully retire. Inflationary pressures, a rising cost of living and the desire to maintain one's pre-retirement lifestyle are driving people in Singapore to continue working. A lack of long-term financial planning to ensure a good retirement is probably to be blamed."

The report also revealed that although a third of retirees (31 per cent) experienced a fall in income upon entering retirement, the majority (66 per cent) said that their spending was greater than or the same as before retirement.

Slightly more than a quarter (27 per cent) of retirees said they were continuing to support their children financially; among working respondents, 38 per cent said they expected to have to do so down the road.

While the retirement age around the world is going up, working-age people here do not believe this will apply to them. They say that their main earning parent retired from all employment on average at 60, and that they expected to be able to afford to do the same at that age.