Nearly one in seven Scots planning to retire this year will have outstanding debts, of £31,200 on average, an insurer has found.

However, the typical amount of money owed has dropped compared with a year ago as more people retire mortgage-free, Prudential said.

The average amount owed by someone planning to retire last year was up almost one-fifth, at £38,200, while the share of people retiring in debt has held steady on 2012, at 18%.

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People in Scotland planning to retire this year are among the least likely to owe money, with 15% in debt, while people in Wales are the most likely. Just 13% of those in Yorkshire and Humberside expect to take debts into retirement.

On average, retirees with debts say it will take just less than four years to clear them. Prudential said 43% of people retiring in debt this year will owe money on their mortgages, compared with 50% a year ago.

Vince Smith-Hughes, Prudential's retirement income expert, said: "The fall in average debt owed by this year's retirees is a welcome sign that people are paying off some of the money they owe before they stop working."