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Forum Home  →  Discussion  →  Covid-19 issues  →  Thread

Collecting pensions

JayKay
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Benefits adviser - Penwith Housing Association, Penzance

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Hi

We’ve had a lot of enquiries from pensioners not able to get to the post office to collect their pensions.  The information that we are getting from the Pension Service is that they can change and have their pensions paid into a bank account instead but that would take 28 days - which is not much help in the meantime.  Has anyone come across any other solutions, or know of anything happening in the background to address it?

Thanks

bristol_1
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WRAMAS Bristol City Council

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Hiya
The Post Office website says that branches are still open to allow people to withdraw money, with additional social distancing measures. There are also some Post Office cashpoints I think? Usually on the outside of the branch, if that helps with social distancing.

“I am worried about going to the Post Office to collect my payments, can someone collect my money on my behalf?

You should not give your card and PIN to somebody else to use. You can nominate someone you trust to become a Permanent Agent on your account this person will be given their own card and PIN to collect cash on your behalf. To nominate a Permanent Agent, please complete the ‘Permanent Agent access form’ (P6163), available from most Post Office branches.”

Umm… I think you would need someone to collect the P6163 for you if you were worried about going into the PO?!
Doesn’t help if you have no one who can go in for you to collect money, if you are in the extremely vulnerable ‘shielding’ group.

“My local Post Office is closed and I need to collect my money

If your local branch is closed it will have a notice advising of the next nearest open branch. You can also use a Post Office ATM to withdraw cash from your POca. You can search for the nearest open branch using the branch finder on the Post Office website postoffice.co.uk/branch-finder”

Paul_Treloar_AgeUK
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Information and advice resources - Age UK

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We heard a report from one of our advisers that a client who was concerned about going to PO was told by someone from DWP to close the account and take out all her money and then try to open a bank account. We’ve suggested they might want to log a complaint about that brainiac’s advice,

JayKay
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Benefits adviser - Penwith Housing Association, Penzance

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The people that we are concerned about are those who are vulnerable and not meant to be leaving their properties, so making a trip to the post office is not an option unfortunately.

Paul_Treloar_AgeUK
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Information and advice resources - Age UK

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My colleague Sally West has been sent an update on what’s happening with POCA accounts.

Information from the DWP that can be shared with Age UK Advice Services

The contract with Post Office for POca expires on 30th November 2021.

The replacement service goes live on 2nd August 2021.

We started writing to customers on 1st June. They will receive 2 letters.

The first warns that POca is closing and asks them to supply bank details.

After 4 weeks if there is no reply or if customers say they cannot supply bank details they will receive the second letter.

The second letter says that if we don’t receive bank details in the next 4 weeks we will move their payments to a voucher based payment service.

We are writing (mainly) benefit by benefit. We have started with Jobseekers, Disability Living Allowance and Income Support.

Sometimes if customers have multiple benefits they might receive a letter earlier than expected.
The letters for high volume benefits like State Pension, Pension Credit and PIP will go out later in the year.

juliem
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Macmillan welfare rights advisor - Barnsley MBC, Barnsley

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Paul_Treloar_AgeUK - 23 July 2021 04:39 PM

My colleague Sally West has been sent an update on what’s happening with POCA accounts.

Information from the DWP that can be shared with Age UK Advice Services

The contract with Post Office for POca expires on 30th November 2021.

The replacement service goes live on 2nd August 2021.

We started writing to customers on 1st June. They will receive 2 letters.

The first warns that POca is closing and asks them to supply bank details.

After 4 weeks if there is no reply or if customers say they cannot supply bank details they will receive the second letter.

The second letter says that if we don’t receive bank details in the next 4 weeks we will move their payments to a voucher based payment service.

So the last group they are writing to is the group most likely to use a Post Office?
And where do they cash these vouchers? Which may look like giros? And I guess will be accompanied by nudge letters encouraging the use of bank accounts….

We are writing (mainly) benefit by benefit. We have started with Jobseekers, Disability Living Allowance and Income Support.

Sometimes if customers have multiple benefits they might receive a letter earlier than expected.
The letters for high volume benefits like State Pension, Pension Credit and PIP will go out later in the year.

So the group most likely to use the Post Office will be the last to receive their letters? And where do they cash these payment vouchers? (Giros?)

Daphne
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At paypoint outlets we’ve been told