Important information – Post Office card account (POca) is changing
Post Office card account is a product provided by Post Office Limited on behalf of the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP).
DWP do not intend to extend the current POca contract past 2021. This means after this date you will no longer be able to receive your pensions, benefits or tax credits into your POca. Post Office and the various government departments (who pay your benefits and pensions) will be writing to you over the next 2 years to inform you of this change.
To ensure that your payments can continue to be paid, you will be required to take one of the actions detailed below:
Do you have an alternative account?
If you already have another bank account which you are able to receive payments into, then you will easily be able to switch those payments into that account. You can switch your payment to a different account via the DWP helpline on 0800 085 7133 (textphone 0800 085 7146). They will ask for your bank account number and sort code, so please have these ready when you call.
There are many different types of account which are suitable for receiving pensions, benefits and tax credits. You will be able to find detailed information on the different types of account available to you and the Identity document requirements on the Money Advice Service website (https://www.moneyadviceservice.org.uk/en).
What if you are unable to open a bank, building society or credit union account?
DWP are aware that not all POca customers will be able to open or manage a bank, building society or credit union account. For those customers, DWP will be providing a replacement product. There will be an option for the most vulnerable who cannot open another account to keep their POca until DWP have a new replacement service in place. At this point in time we do not have any details of the replacement product, this will be communicated as soon as possible.
You can still continue to collect your payments from the Post Office
Almost all UK bank accounts are already accessible in your local Post Office. You will still be able to withdraw your cash from your regular Post Office branch, as well as deposit cash and cheques. To check which accounts are accessible at the Post Office and for more information on Everyday Banking please click here www.postoffice.co.uk/everydaybanking
What are my options and next steps?
To transfer your pension, benefit or tax credit payments please phone the DWP helpline on 0800 085 7133 (textphone 0800 085 7146). They will ask for your bank account number and sort code, so please have these ready when you call.
To close your account please pick up an account closure form, P6703, from your local Post Office (a small number of our branches may not hold or accept forms), or call the contact centre 0345 722 3344 to have a form sent to you. Complete the form and take it to a Post Office branch who will check the details and forward it for processing. The account closure process can take up to 10 working days. Upon closing your account balance will be transferred to your nominated account
Do I have to close my POca?
Yes, POca will be closing - therefore if you are able to open an account or already have an account you will need to take action. For those customers who are not able to open an account, there will be a replacement product.
Will POca be replaced after 2021?
DWP will be providing a replacement product for POca . This will be designed for a smaller and more specific number of customers. Post Office plans to bid for any replacement product so that customers can continue to be served in a Post office. In addition, customers who convert from POca onto a mainstream bank account can continue to withdraw cash in their local post office through our Everyday Banking products. Find out more about Everyday Banking www.postoffice.co.uk/everydaybanking