Leading pensioners' and savers' campaigner Ros Altmann has been appointed by the Government as its new older workers' business champion.
Dr Altmann, a former director-general of over-50s group Saga and an independent expert on later life issues, will be tasked with making the case for older workers and challenging some firms' outdated perceptions.
Dr Altmann has been highlighting the need to consider retirement as a phased process rather than a one-off event, enabling people to perhaps spend a period working part-time towards the end of their working lives rather than giving up work altogether.
She said: "Those who have already retired often miss work, not just because they have such reduced incomes, but also because they miss the social interaction and positive feelings that derive from work.
"Employers, too, often have ageist attitudes which mean they fail to make the most of the skills of their workforce.
"As the numbers of over 50s is soaring in coming years, it is so important that we ensure they have the opportunities to earn and save more, as well as continuing to contribute to the growth of the economy as a whole."
The appointment of Business Champion for Older Workers was announced by pensions minister Steve Webb, who said: "In appointing a business champion for older workers I wanted a powerful voice; someone respected amongst the business community, with a track record of speaking up for consumer rights without fear or favour.
"In Dr Ros Altmann that's exactly what we have.
"Older workers have a huge amount to bring to any workforce and are a vast, untapped talent in the UK labour market. The business case is compelling and I am delighted that Ros will now be taking a lead in going out and making that case directly to the business community."
Minister for women Nicky Morgan said: " I am delighted that Dr Ros Altmann has been appointed and with her breadth of experience, she will be a great advocate of this work."
There are currently about 2.9 million people aged between 50 and state pension age out of work in the UK.