Pensioners should take out a loan and go back to university so they can keep up in the jobs market, the government says.
Ministers believe the skills of over 60s could be key to the UK's future economic success.
Higher education minister David Willetts pointed to the lifting of the "ageist" age limit on student loans, saying it made higher education "great value" for older people.
Willetts claimed retraining could have wider benefits for over 60s including leading to a more healthy lifestyle.
Speaking as he accompanied prime minister David Cameron on a tour of India, he said: "There is certainly a pressure for continuing to get retrained and upskilled...higher education has an economic benefit in that if you stay up to date with knowledge and skills you are more employable.”
The government has abolished the default retirement age, while the state pension age is set to increase to 67 by 2028.
Willetts added: “Education is such a good thing it is not reserved for younger people,” he said. “There will be people of all ages who will want to study. There is great value in lifelong learning.”
Traditionally older students are looking to keep their minds active during retirement, Willetts said this will change as pressure mounts to compete for jobs.
“If people need it in order to keep up to date with changes in their jobs, that is an opportunity they are going to take,” Willetts added.Suggest a correction