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Millions of workers around the world could enter retirement with savings diminished by a fifth or more after getting into debt or financial difficulty, HSBC warned in a new report. According to the bank, the impact of the global economic downturn could be felt for decades by the vast number of people who raided their retirement funds and accumulated debt during the financial crisis.

In a study of 16,000 people into global retirement trends, HSBC found that two in five workers stopped or reduced their savings for retirement during the downturn that began in 2007.The situation is particularly bad in the U.K. and Canada, the bank warned, where retirement savings have been nearly halved as a result of debts or financial constraints.

"Despite the fact that close to 70 percent of people feel like they will run out of money or not have enough to live on day-to-day in retirement, 40 percent of people today are either not saving for retirement or significantly reduced their savings for retirement," Michael Schweitzer, head of sales and distribution for group wealth management at HSBC, told CNBC on Monday."And that is going to cause a shortfall for millions of people – as much as a fifth when they do get to retirement."


-- Dhara Ranasinghe, CNBC