§ 27. Mr. David Martin
To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security if he will make a statement on the means by which pensioners will be able to choose to have their benefits paid through the Post Office. 
§ Mr. Arbuthnot
Pensioners will continue to be able to choose to have their benefits paid directly into their bank 87W or building society accounts by automated credit transfer or to collect it at the post office.
Plans are well advanced to automate the system for paying benefit at post offices. This will mean the phasing out of orderbooks and giros, and replacing them with a benefit payment card. It is envisaged that the pensioner will hand his card to the post office clerk who will use it to access information about benefit entitlement which will be held electronically on a database. The customer will sign a receipt at the counter to confirm receipt of the cash.