§ Tony Cunningham
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions if he will make a statement on progress in moving manual pension payments to direct payment, with particular reference to Post Office accounts. 
§ Mr. Pond
The overall move to direct payment is progressing well.
The conversion process, from manual payments to payments credited directly in to bank accounts, started with invitation letters being sent to some customers in October 2002 and involves contacting approximately 14.25 million customers. We have already written to 8 million customers and so far over 3.5 million have provided their bank account details, and over 2 million have requested a Post Office card account.
Key figures on the progress of conversion to direct payment are available in the Library, updated every four weeks.