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Financial Education and Information

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The take-up level for benefits for BME elders is extremely low. This may be due to a number of barriers such as the form and method in which information is passed. Financial benefits and policies are technical and complex which can confuse anyone that is not an accountant! Financial information is not disseminated with the right cultural understanding or with the right people. As confirmed by those providing services and our work with BME elders, it is not enough to translate some of the mainstream information into other languages.

Many BME elders prefer to discuss their finances and ask for advice from community organisations so it is vital that such organisations be used as surgeries and remain the face of pension and benefit services in order to increase awareness, understanding and take-up of entitlements. BME elders who came to UK as migrants voiced that they lacked the confidence to take up entitlements due to the constant reminders from the media, institutions, service providers and politicians of their status and lack of 'Britishness' and official phobia (Patel 1990; PRIAE 2004 Pensions Conference).