Skip to main content

Pensions: Payments

Volume 483: debated on Tuesday 18 November 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions whether he has instructed the Pension Service to write to giro cheque pension recipients telling them that this payment process is to end and that they should seek alternative arrangements; and if he will issue guidance to the Pension Service on future communications to such recipients. (235722)

My Department has been writing to customers paid by DWP cheque since 2005.

We are contacting customers who are currently being paid by cheque so that we can try and arrange to pay their benefit or pension into an account. This is not new, and is all part of the process of modernising the way benefits and pensions are paid. In fact, we have contacted many customers paid by cheque since we phased out order books in 2005. We are also informing customers that we plan to phase out the current cheque system so that we can pay customers in a more secure, efficient and reliable way.

We have always said that each customer’s benefit or pension should be paid into an account if this is possible. This is the most efficient, secure and reliable way of making payments. It can also mean that customers can take advantage of the benefits of banking, such as more choice about where and when they collect their money and the discounts offered when they pay some bills by direct debit.

The letters currently being sent to cheque customers were agreed by Ministers.