People retiring this year are set to have £3,000 less debt typically than those who ended work in 2015, a report has found.
One in five (20%) people retiring in the UK in 2016 expect to be in the red, owing £18,800 on average, according to research from Prudential.
The average is £3,000 or 14% lower than the typical debt of £21,800 last year.
Women planning to retire this year with debt will owe around £17,800 - a sharp £7,000 fall compared with 2015. The debts held by men remain virtually unchanged at around £19,600.
People retiring in debt in 2016 typically expect it will take three and a half years to pay off what they owe, but more than one in 10 (13%) say it will take seven years or more, and one in 12 (8%) believe they will never be debt-free.
A separate report released this week from the Centre for Economics and Business Research (Cebr) found that 69 is the average age at which people can expect to celebrate their “debt-free birthday”.
The report, commissioned by peer-to-peer lender Zopa, found that people are generally over-optimistic about when they will be able to clear everything they owe, and underestimate their debt-free birthday by around 12 years.
The average level of retiree debt has fallen for four years in a row, halving since 2012 when people owed around £38,200, Prudential found.