New laws banning age discrimination at work have been welcomed by the Scottish Executive's communities minister.
More than a quarter of Scotland's population will be over 65 by 2030
Malcolm Chisholm said the legislation was particularly relevant in Scotland where more than a quarter of the population would be over 65 by 2030.
The Employment Equality (Age) Regulations 2006 are the result of a European directive on employment.
They will provide new rights and protections to people of all ages in employment and training.
Mr Chisholm said the contribution older people make to society was often ignored.
"We have to ensure that we have the right housing, health and other services in place," he said.
"But this is also about giving older people options so that if they choose to carry on working, become a volunteer to take up educational and training opportunities, they can."
The Scottish Trades Union Congress (STUC) also welcomed the legislation.
STUC assistant secretary, Dave Moxham, said: "There is a lot of myth and misunderstanding surrounding the age discrimination legislation but if approached positively this can be good news for individuals and good news for business.
"Companies will still be allowed to insist on a retirement age of 65.
"However, employees may apply to work for longer by agreement with employers, and once such a decision is taken the employee will be entitled to new legal protections."
He added that companies would still be entitled to dismiss a worker over 65 on the grounds of their age provided that due notice was given.