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More people in Britain plan to use their property to prop up their pension than in most other European countries as they reassess their retirement plans because of the state of the economy, according to a study.

Britons are also reassessing the age at which they will stop work, with the average delay of five years, said the report by finance firm ING Direct.


The average age at which people planned to retire was 60 before 2007, but this has now gone up to 65, the research found.

A survey of 1,000 adults in 12 European countries found that more than a third of Britons planned to use their property to fund their retirement, compared with fewer than a quarter on the continent.

French people have increased their estimated retirement age from 60 to 62, while workers in Turkey still believe they can stop work at 55.

One in 10 pensioners in Britain has already sold their house or downsized.

ING Direct chief executive Richard Doe said: "As a nation of homeowners and with property often the largest asset Brits have, it's not surprising that many people are considering downsizing as a way to fund their retirement."

"Even though people's retirement plans have been affected by economic factors over recent years, they're often delaying in order to build up their savings to give themselves a more stable retirement."

© 2012 Press Association