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Benefit Payments

Volume 405: debated on Wednesday 14 May 2003

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To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many recipients of (a) state pensions, (b) war pensions and (c) benefits were written to by his Department during April to inform them that they must change to a direct payment method; and for each of these three groups, how many chose to have their payments made into (i) a bank or building society account, (ii) a basic bank account and (iii) a post office card account. [112907]

The information is not available in the format requested.Information that is available shows that 538,666 customer invitation letters were issued in April. This was made up of 538,430 child benefit customers, 209 Veterans Agency customers (the final segment of Veterans agency customers) and 27 Jobcentre Plus customers (the residue from a pilot exercise in March). For the same period 382,199 customers responded to our letters and opted for payment into a bank or building society account, many of which can be accessed at post office branches. We do not differentiate between current and basic bank accounts. 60,086 customers responded with a request for a post office card account.The change will be phased in over a two-year period and is due to be completed in 2005.