The Work and Pensions Secretary Iain Duncan Smith certainly needs to be emphatically reminded of this.
But some pensioners may feel their individual situations limit their capacity to be involved in practical ways.
However, it is still open to them to make (or increase) financial contributions to voluntary organisations. The voluntary sector covers a huge range of services.
At this time, when voluntary organisations are suffering cutbacks in the face of continuing, even rising, demand it seems more helpful for individuals to redirect what the Work and Pensions Secretary deems superfluous benefits to voluntary organisations of their choice, rather than as he suggests to return the money to what has been called “the maw of government” .