Thousands of vulnerable OAPs have been told that from this summer, they will no longer be able to pop to the Post Office to pick up their pension.
Instead, the government is forcing them to collect their cash from their local shop, many of which lack the privacy offered by Post Offices’ premises.
Pensioners all over the country are set for a change in the coming months, after being sent letters informing them that their Giro cheque is about to be phased out. For the thousands of pensioners who still receive their pension through the post, they will no longer be able to get their money over the counter at the Post Office – where they can also pay their bills at the same time – but will have to go to Paypoint counters set up in local shops.
The move comes after the government decided to get rid of the cheque system but rather than handing the contract to the Post Office, it picked Citibank as its partner.
This means pensioners either have the choice of getting their money paid into a bank account, many of which are moving out of local communities, making them hard to reach, or having to face the difficulty of receiving their money over the local supermarket counter.
Campaigners have raised concerns that the new plastic card scheme will be less secure for vulnerable individuals and the lack of privacy, compared to Post Office counters, could leave them exposed. The new plastic cards will not be a chip and pin system because of the difficulties some pensioners have using them.
Despite the criticisms raised about the introduction of the new pension arrangements, the Department for Work and Pensions has insisted that the system will work along very similar lines to cheque payments and will be ‘the most secure possible.’