State Retirement Pensions: Post Office Card Account

Department for Work and Pensions written question – answered on 23rd January 2018.

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Photo of Christina Rees Christina Rees Shadow Secretary of State for Wales

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, why her Department is asking the recipients of state pensions to switch the accounts that their pensions are paid into from the Post Office to a bank, building society or credit union.

Photo of Guy Opperman Guy Opperman The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Work and Pensions

Direct Payment into a bank, building society or credit union account is the standard way to make all government payments.

The Post Office card account (POca) was introduced in 2003 as a very simple service through which pension and benefits can be paid. It was always intended as a stepping stone into mainstream banking, and financial inclusion, while customers got used to elements of banking.

There are now fewer barriers to prevent people, who do not have an existing account, from accessing and using one. Importantly as most bank accounts can be accessed at the post office it doesn’t need to change how or where they collect their money.

Additionally, POca is expensive to administer and as we deal with public funds we have a duty to use the most cost-effective method for issuing customer payments - which is into a bank, building society or credit union account.

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