State pension to stop being paid to Post Office Card Account in months

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Many state pensioners will need to be aware of an important, looming change as it could relate to how they are paid. Traditionally, thousands of older people have opted to have their payments issued to the Post Office.

The Post Office Card Account (POca) was designed for this specific purpose, to make it easier to receive payments such as the state pension.

However, the popularity of the card account has waned in recent years, bringing about a key change.

From November 30, the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) has confirmed it will no longer make payments to POcas.

The Government has explained its preference is to pay into a bank, building society or credit union.

It has stated this is the “most efficient, cost-effective and preferred way to make pension and benefit payments”.

Post Office Card Accounts have now been closed in their entirety.

Individuals should have received a letter which notifies them of the date of this closure.

This will have included a form so people can claim any remaining balance in their account.

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From the date stated on the form, Britons will no longer be able to access their account either in branches or via ATMs.

However, some may have not put alternative arrangements into place, meaning they could be missing out on the state pension.

In order to ensure state pension payments are not stopped, it is vital individuals provide the DWP with details of a bank account they would like their payments to be issued.

Many state pensioners will now have to adjust to a new way of receiving their payments.

They will have three options, clearly laid out by the Government-backed service Money Helper.

Option One – Existing account

Some individuals will already have an existing current account from which they can access their money.

Savings accounts will not be appropriate if a person is taking out money often.

Those who already have a current account will simply need to give the DWP the details.

This can be done by contacting the DWP customer centre on 0800 0857 133.

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Option Two – New account

Certain individuals will not have a current account, but these can be opened via a bank, building society or credit union.

Britons will be able to open an account in person or online, and could get a trusted friend or relative to help them with the process.

There are various accounts available to people, and they may wish to shop around for one which meets their needs

Option Three – Payment Exception Service

If it is not possible for a person to have a current account, then they could receive their state pension through the Payment Exception Service.

This is available through the following three methods: 

  • A unique number via a text message on one’s phone
  • A unique PDF voucher via email
  • A payment card – which the DWP will send pre-loaded with vouchers enabling a person to take out money at a Post Office branch or PayPoint retailer.

Those who choose to be paid through emailed vouchers or the Payment Card will also need to show proof of their identity. 

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