Almost half (49%) of British employees are not willing to share salary details with colleagues, according to research by Scottish Widows.
The Dare not ask survey found that 27% of respondents would not discuss their pay with friends, and 15% would not talk about salary with their family.
Only 24% of respondents have asked their employer for a pay rise, and 43% are happy with their salary.
More men (28%) than women (18%) have asked for a pay rise, and men are also more comfortable asking for a larger percentage increase, 4.6% of salary compared to 4.1% for female counterparts.
Over a quarter (27%) of those that have not asked for a pay rise said that they have never needed to as they have always been paid a fair salary.
Furthermore, 11% admitted they felt too embarrassed to ask for a salary increase, and 8% were worried that their employer would say no.
Catherine Stewart, savings expert at Scottish Widows, said: “The nation is split when it comes to talking about their salary, as it is a sensitive topic.
“If people do not feel comfortable talking to their nearest and dearest about their salary it makes it even more important to seek expert advice to keep on top of their finances.”
Read more articles on pay rises