BBC Breakfast: Dan Walker says he ‘loves’ going to post office
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Post Office card accounts (POca) have proven popular in the past as an efficient way of receiving payments from the Government. It is described as making it easy to receive “pensions, benefits and tax credit” without the need for a bank account. But while many have previously utilised this account, its use is dwindling, causing the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) to take a major step.
The Post Office website explains: “The DWP will not be renewing their contract with the Post Office to provide POca.
“In future, you will need to choose a different account provider to receive your benefits or pension payments.”
The all-important date to bear in mind in these circumstances is November 2021.
From this point onwards, Post Office card accounts will no longer be available.
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As such, individuals who are used to receiving pension payments or benefits into this account will need to take action.
The DWP, and in some cases HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC), is writing to POca customers to inform them of this change.
The letter should inform a person of the options they might be able to take in the future.
The Post Office has warned Britons not to ignore this correspondence, as the information is particularly important.
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All those receiving payment should have been written to already, but the DWP will write again before November 2021 if a person has not responded.
Individuals will need to have chosen and set up a new way to receive their benefits or pensions by this date.
It is important that no money is left in a person’s Post Office card account upon the closing date.
As such, there are three different options a person may wish to pursue when it comes to the payment of their pension or benefits.
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Firstly, someone may be able to use an existing account they have with a bank, building society or credit union account.
These individuals can either call the freephone number 0800 085 7133 or fill in the form sent with their DWP letter.
This letter can then be returned using the postage paid envelope to start the process of moving payments.
Another option involves opening a new account with a bank, building society or credit union.
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There are a myriad of options available in this regard, and Britons can use the Money Helper website to assist them in choosing the correct account for them.
However, the Post Office and DWP have acknowledged some individuals may be unable to set up an account of this kind.
In this case, the Government will get in contact with an individual about its new Payment Exceptions Service.
Once a person has transferred their payments, the Post Office card account will be closed.
Britons will then receive a closing statement to confirm this has taken place.