What to do now your Post Office card account is closing

What is a Post Office card account?

A Post Office card account (POca) is a bank account you could only get from the Post Office for automated government payments, such as benefits. It’s not the same as any other current or savings account offered by the Post Office.

Do I have to close my Post Office card account?

Yes, you do eventually. But there’s no need to panic as you have time.

From November 2021, the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) and HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) will stop making payments – including Universal Credit, tax credits, your State Pension, and other benefits – into Post Office card accounts.

You’ll still get your payment but will have to use a different bank account to draw out your money. You will receive a letter from the DWP soon explaining your next steps.

What will happen to my benefits or State Pension payments after November 2021?

Your benefits or State Pension payments won’t stop, and your payment dates will not change. The only change is that you will no longer be able to use a Post Office card account to draw out your money.

What do I need to do now?

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You can also contact the Post Office contact centre on 0345 722 3344 (or 0345 722 3355 for Typetalk) Monday to Friday 8.15am to 6.00pm, or ask in your local Post Office branch.

How to choose a different bank account

Most current or basic accounts from UK banks, building societies and credit unions will already accept automated payments for your Universal Credit, other benefits or your State Pension.

This could be a current account from a bank, building society or credit union or a basic bank account that does not charge any fees. Whatever option you choose, you should not find yourself out of pocket.

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If you’re not sure what bank account is best for you, you can call us on 0800 138 7777 (English) or 0800 138 0555 (Welsh). For Typetalk dial 18001 0800 915 4622

How do I set up a new bank account if I’m shielding for coronavirus?

You have until November 2021 to open a new bank account. So if you prefer to open an account in-person in your local bank branch, you could wait for coronavirus lockdown rules to ease.

Alternatively, many banks will let you apply for a new bank account online or by telephone. This includes providing any identification you need to open the account.

If you need help applying for a bank account online, you might want to ask a trusted friend or family member, but the process should be straightforward enough so you can take your time and do it yourself if you prefer.

If you already have a helper (known as a ‘permanent agent’) for your Post Office card account, you might want to ask this person for help.

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What should I do when I have opened my new bank account?

When you’ve opened your new bank account, you’ll need to give the DWP (or HMRC) the bank account details. You can do this by calling the DWP 0800 085 7133 (for Typetalk call 0800 085 7146), or by post if you have received the letter from DWP or HMRC.

If you have a benefit paid by the Scottish Government such as the Carer’s Allowance Supplement you should also contact Social Security Scotland. You can do this by phone on 0800 182 2222, or by post if you have received a letter.

It’s important to try and do this as soon as you’ve opened the new account.

How do I close my Post Office card account?

Wait until you start receiving your benefits or State Pension into your new bank account before you close your Post Office card account.

It’s important not to leave any money in your old account before you close it. If you need help withdrawing your money you can call the Post Office contact centre on 0345 722 3344.

To close the account, you’ll need to collect a P6703 account closure form from your local Post Office, or call the Post Office contact centre on 0345 722 3344 to have a form sent to you.

If you need any help with completing or submitting the form, you can contact the Post Office contact centre on 0345 722 3344 (or 0345 722 3355 for Typetalk).

When you’ve completed the form, take it back to your local Post Office where they’ll check it and send it on. From this point, it will take up to ten working days for your account to be closed. When your account is closed any remaining balance will be transferred to a bank account of your choice.

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Can I collect my benefits or pension from the Post Office with my new account?

Most UK bank accounts already allow you to withdraw cash and manage your account from Post Office branches, and this shouldn’t change.

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impartial help for all your money and pension choices.
Whatever your circumstances or plans, move forward with MoneyHelper.

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Looking for us? Now, we’re MoneyHelper

MoneyHelper is the new, easy way to get clear, free,
impartial help for all your money and pension choices.
Whatever your circumstances or plans, move forward with MoneyHelper.

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