Nearly a million over-75s are living in poverty, a charity has warned.
Hundreds of thousands of these poverty-stricken pensioners are in a "poverty trap" with little hope of escape in their lifetimes, according to Independent Age.
Its research found many "older pensioners" are worse off than their younger counterparts by thousands of pounds a year on average, leaving 20% of over-75s living below the poverty line.
The charity said the "silent generation" of pensioners who lived through the Second World War are being forgotten while public discussion focusses on the wealth of younger "Baby Boomers".
Janet Morrison, chief executive of Independent Age, said it was "misleading" to treat the country's 11.8 million pensioners as one group.
"It would be foolish to assume that inequality simply ceases to exist at retirement age, but that is exactly what some of the recent rhetoric around 'intergenerational unfairness' does.
"The Silent Generation of older pensioners, renters and single women have missed out on many of the gains of recent years.
"This is the 'Keep Calm and Carry On' generation that lived through the Second World War.
"The older people we spoke to as part of this research talked about 'keeping a brave face', 'cutting their cloth' and not wanting to ask for help. There is a real risk that this generation will be forgotten and left to suffer in silence."