Morrisons has teamed up with shop workers union Usdaw to create an initiative to support staff during retirement.

Morrisons Plus aims to encourage staff to maintain contact with their former employer and take part in voluntary work for Morrisons charities. Some retired staff will also be employed part-time during busy times of the year, ­allowing them to top up their pensions.

In return for voluntary work, members of the scheme will be given benefits such as 10% off their weekly shop, financial advice, invitations to social events and health and wellbeing information.

"We want to engage with former staff," said Morrisons group HR director Norman Pickavance. "There's lots of evidence that retired people can benefit from staying active. We want to give our staff a purpose in retirement and be a part of their lives after they finish work."

Morrisons said the scheme had been set up as many older people faced barriers to participating in public life. It also wanted to make it easier for its former staff to get involved in volunteering.

"We've heard a lot about the government's Big Society and our initiative aims to make it easier to get involved," added Pickavance.