Older people are being encouraged to become involved in community activities as part of David Cameron's big society initiative.
The government hopes that this will prevent those who live alone who have chosen not to find a care home becoming isolated in older age.
Half of over 75s live alone, with one in ten older people saying they often or always feel lonely, according to Michelle Mitchell, charity director of Age UK.
Volunteer community agents will be appointed to lead the Active at 60 scheme, which has £1 million available in funding.
"Older people have never had a more important role in our society but people making the transition into retirement can lose their social network as they move out of employment and settle into a different routine, particularly those who have an illness or disability," said minister of state for pensions Steve Webb.