§ 23. Mr. Hawkins
To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security what plans he has in respect of pensioners being able to choose to have their benefits paid through the Post Office. 999W
§ Mr. Lilley
Pensioners will continue to be able to choose to have their benefits paid directly into their bank or building society accounts by automated credit transfer, or to collect it at the post office.
Plans to automate the system for paying benefit at post offices are well advanced. For customers, this will mean that order books and giros are replaced with a benefit payment card. Starting next year, this change is likely to be phased in over a period of two to three years. Pensioners and other benefit recipients will be informed of what is happening, and exactly what they will need to do, nearer the time when cards are to be issued to them. People who choose to be paid by automated credit transfer will not be affected by this change and will not need a benefit payment card.