DWP: Post Office card accounts set to close for state pensioners – do you need to act? | Personal Finance | Finance

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State Pension payments are overseen by the DWP to ensure retired individuals receive the level of financial support to which they are entitled. People can choose to receive their state pension payments in a number of ways which suit their circumstances and ensure they receive the payments they need. However, one particularly popular option for those in receipt of the state pension sum is a Post Office account card.

A Post Office Card Account, otherwise known as a POCA, is a form of bank account  which can be used for automated Government payments.

Particularly used by state pension recipients, those in receipt of benefits can also use this type of account.

The POCA allows retired people to collect their income with ease, and many will have got into the routine of collecting their payments.

However, the DWP is to stop making payments into Post Office Card Accounts from November 2021, in a move which is also to be echoed by HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC).

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Most importantly, it will be the case individuals will need to provide different account details to the DWP to ensure they continue to get a payment.

The Department has confirmed it will make sure future payments will be switched to the customer’s new account from the next available payment date.

To this end, Britons will need to tell the Government where they wish their payments to be redirected to once the deadline passes.

State pension payments will not stop, but a person will not be able to use a POCA to draw out money any longer. 

Once the form is completed and sent off, it should take 10 working days for an account to be closed.

It may still be the case though that Britons will be able to visit the Post Office to manage their state pension payments.

This is because most bank accounts allow individuals to withdraw cash and manage their account from Post Office branches.

This may mean only a slight change to a person’s day-to-day money management processes. 

Work and Pensions Secretary, Dr Therese Coffey, confirmed the closure of POCAs to the Commons in 2020, saying: “Uptake of accounts in the last year has been exceptionally low, but in any event, give that the vast majority of people using POCA we believe already have a bank account, the cost of the contract is poor value for taxpayers.”

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