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asked the Secretary of State for Social Services whether he has now considered the report of the joint working party of officials of his Department and representatives of National Giro, the Inter-Bank Research Organisation and Bankers Automated Clearing Services Ltd. into the question of the payment of retirement pensions direct to the beneficiary bank account when the beneficiary so desires; and if he will make a statement.
Payment of retirement pensions directly into the bank accounts of beneficiaries has become part of a much wider study of the arrangements for paying social security benefits. I expect to receive shortly a report on this wider study and my right hon. Friend will announce our conclusions as soon as possible.