It vowed to promote flexible working, particularly for seniors and carers, and encourage savings tools to make longer retirements affordable.
Tackling the challenges of ageing is a key feature in a new Industrial Strategy.
It aims to make the UK the most innovative nation by 2030 with £725million of investment over the next three years, on top of £1billion already announced to “transform” industries.
The strategy – and Britain’s prospects after Brexit – were boosted when US medicines and vaccines giant MSD confirmed plans to open a new centre here to research future treatments.
Its investment will be worth billions and support 950 skilled jobs. And German diagnostics expert Qiagen will spend billions on a campus in Manchester to lead work on genomics, creating 800 jobs.
Business Secretary Greg Clark said the strategy aims to build on Britain’s strengths and address its weaknesses, to ensure it can lead the technological revolution.
Theresa May said: “As we leave the EU and forge a new path, we need to focus on building a better future.”
The strategy identifies four “grand challenges”, including to “harness innovation to meet the needs of an ageing society”.
A third of children born today can expect to live to 100, and one in eight are expected to be aged over 75 by 2040, up from one in 12 today.
Longer lives mean changing career and retirement planning and demand for new technologies, products and services to assist with care and independence.
“An ageing population could reduce the size of our workforce and lead to lower productivity,” the Government warned.
“We will create an economy which works for everyone, regardless of age. We will encourage industries to lead in adapting their workplaces to an ageing workforce.”
Caroline Abrahams of Age UK said: “Older generations have been crucial throughout our history. We look forward to working with policy makers and other organisations to ensure that their needs are properly considered in the future too.”
The three other challenges are to put the UK at the front of the artificial intelligence and data revolution, help industry exploit the global shift to “clean growth”, and to shape the future of mobility such as driverless cars.
Business gave a broadly positive reception but others claimed it offered no new ideas or help for people working outside “elite” industries.