COLUMBUS, Ohio (WTVN) -- Almost half of Americans in their prime retirement planning years believe they will need to work longer than previously planned in order to save enough to retire.

A survey from PNC Bank found that 49 percent don't expect to retire on time. 58 percent of those under the age of 70 who already left the workforce say they did so earlier than planned.

"That could be because their company is downsizing or because they did not plan appropriately through their investment strategies," said Sue Bottigi, a wealth manager at PNC.

About four in 10 people surveyed say they are on track in their preparation for retirement. They are referred to as "planners." About a third, dubbed “procrastinators,” recognize the need to prepare but acknowledge they put it off. A final group, tagged “avoiders”, admit they are well behind on their retirement planning. They made up about 23 percent of those surveyed.

"Planners" expect to retire at 65 years of age while "avoiders" don't think they'll be able to leave the workplace until age 68.

The two groups also have vast differences when it comes to saving for retirement. About 79 percent of "planners" participate in an employer-sponsored retirement plan compared to just 39 percent of "avoiders."

PNC’s survey also revealed a gender gap on the ability to achieve a secure retirement. More than half of women, compared to 40 percent of men, agree with the statement “I’m afraid I may not be able to retire.”

Slightly less than four in 10 women, compared to 48 percent of men, believe they are prepared for retirement while 79 percent of men and 70 percent of women say they have made saving for retirement a habit.

Other findings in the survey include:
Years in retirement: On average those who are not yet retired plan to retire by the time they are 67 years old and expect they’ll need to fund retirement for 21.5 years.

Healthcare concerns: The most frequently named “burning question” about retirement saving is how to consider healthcare expenses, named by half (50 percent) of adults in prime retirement planning years.

Early retirement: Of those 70 or younger who are already retired, more than half (58 percent) retired before they had planned, with 40 percent retiring early because of health related issues and 26 percent retired because of issues with their employer, typically forced early retirement or layoffs.

Social “Security”: Four of 10 (45 percent) say they will rely most on either their employer’s retirement plan or Social Security for their retirement income, while another four in 10 (44 percent) say they will expect to be either entirely or mostly responsible for their retirement savings.

Pension Divide: The survey confirms the trend of fewer employers offering pensions. Sixty-four percent of retirees report receiving a pension and almost half (45 percent) say their pension provides a large contribution to their retirement. However, of those not retired and still working, only 43 percent have a pension.

(Photo courtesy Getty Images)