HL Deb 04 March 2004 vol 658 c116WA
Lord Hoyle

asked Her Majesty's Government:

What advice is being given by the Pension Service to senior citizens who want their pension entitlement paid through the Post Office; and [HL1546]

Why pensioners who have requested pension payment through the Post Office are being sent a further letter from the Pension Service asking them to discuss other options for payment. [HL1547]

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Work and Pensions (Baroness Hollis of Heigham)

All customers can continue to receive their payments at the Post Office with all of the account options. This includes current accounts and basic bank accounts from some banks and building societies, and the Post Office card account. 90 per cent of pensioners already have an account suitable for direct payment.

Customers are being provided with all the information they need on all of their 'account options', including which accounts can be used at Post Office branches. It is up to the customers themselves to decide which type of account they wish to have their money paid into. Customers will need to look at all of the features of the different options and choose an account to suit their individual needs and circumstances.

All staff, including front line, call centre and information-line staff, have been provided with information on all of the account options available to the customer. Customers requesting a Post Office card account are issued with a letter asking them to contact the department, as this forms part of the safeguards implemented to ensure that only benefit and pensions customers can open a Post Office card account. When customers do they are reminded of all their account options, including all of those which can be accessed at post offices.