While the UK state pension offers a maximum of £802.32 a month to retirees, the average Spanish OAP receives £2,287.24.
The study on European pensions found Britain places at just 16th on the Pension Breakeven Index. Here the state allowance is worth only 16.61% more than the amount needed to cover the average cost of bills, calculated at £688.04 a month.
This means a retiree relying on the state pension has just £114.24 a month left over after expenses are covered, the index suggests.
Meanwhile, Spanish pensioners can expect 407.4% over the breakeven point, equivalent to £1,403.89 more than UK pensioners.
The index also found that Belgium – with a similar cost of living as in the UK at £720.45 a month – pays a monthly state pension of £2,709.93 to those who have worked for 45 years.
This payout is 376% over the breakeven point, data by pension advisers Almond Financial found. Jan Shortt, of the National Pensioners Convention, said: “The reality for those of us in later life is that our income is often outweighed by our outgoings.
“This is especially so now with the cost of energy and food still high. The UK is just above the breakeven point on the table and is likely to fall below that unless inflation is tackled and investment in the economy is made.”
Researchers looked at the pension system in all 50 European countries to compare payouts with other financial data. It analysed the average cost of general living expenses to find an estimated monthly total, but rents and mortgages were excluded.
Georgia was 29th on the list, with a monthly pension of £82.34, while 30th was Armenia at £67.79. Sam Robinson, of Almond Financial, said: “While it is positive that the UK finds itself among the top half of countries, for how much longer is the question.
“The increase in our state pension in line with inflation is needed and welcomed, but it’s clear that those over 66 need to look at other options rather than just relying on the state.”