Do you have a Post Office card account for your benefits?
If yes, then you need to know that this account will be closing in November 2022. This means that from November 2022, you will no longer be able to have your benefits including child benefit, tax credits or state pension payments paid into a Post Office card account.
This was due to take place by November 2021 but due to the disruption caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, it has now been extended until November 2022 to allow people enough time to prepare. More information can be found, here: Post Office card accounts closure extended until November 2022 – GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)
If you haven’t already, you will soon receive a letter explaining this from the DWP and you will need to inform them of how you have decided you would like to receive your payments by November 2022.
To keep having your benefits, tax credits or state pension paid, you will need to use a bank, building society or credit union account.
There is also an option of a Payment Exceptions Service. For more information on this, visit: Payment Exception Service – GOV.UK (www.gov.uk).
What is changing?
Your benefits or state pension payments will not stop, and your payment dates will not change.
The only change is that you will no longer be able have your benefits or pension paid into a Post Office card account. Instead, you will need to use an existing account or set up a new account with a bank, building society or credit union.
If you already have an existing account that you would like to use, you will need to provide the DWP with these details and your money will be paid in like it was with your Post Office card account.
Setting up a bank account
Most major banks and building societies offer a Basic Bank Account to new customers. These are accounts with no overdraft or credit options and no fees or charges. They allow you to have your money paid in and set up direct debits and standing orders to allow you to manage your money without the fear of going overdrawn.
These simple accounts can usually be set up online, via phone or in branch with very little fuss and with only basic ID, such as a benefit/pension letter or utility bill.
Once this is all set up, you can provide your new bank details to the DWP and the money will be paid in just as it was with your Post Office account.
If you would like more support on these changes, the Post Office has a dedicated webpage with more information and contact details, here.
If you would prefer to phone, you can contact the Post Office Contact Centre on 0345 722 3344 or 0345 722 3355 for Typetalk. The opening hours are Monday-Friday 8:15am-6pm, Saturday 8:30am-7:15pm, and closed on Sundays.
You can also ask in your local Post Office branch for more information. You can find your local Post Office branch, here.
If you would like more support around your Post Office card account and setting up a new bank account, contact our Money Advice Team.