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Post office service for pensioners and benefit claimants to be safeguarded

December 16, 2014 4:49 PM
Originally published by UK Liberal Democrats

Liberal Democrat Pensions Minister Steve Webb has announced a signing of a new deal with Post Office Limited to ensure the Post Office Account, previously due to be withdrawn next year, remains available until at least 2022.

The new £250m seven-year contract will protect services for vulnerable pensioners and benefit claimants, as well as safeguard the future of the Post Office network.

The Post Office Account, held by around 2.5 million people, provides simple banking services for people without a traditional bank current account to ensure they can receive the benefits, tax credits, state pensions or war pension to which they are entitled.

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The new contract realises efficiency savings of 10 per cent compared to the previous contract - saving the taxpayer millions of pounds.

Liberal Democrat Minister for Postal Affairs Jo Swinson said:

"This announcement builds on the strength of a Post Office network that is reaping the benefits of modernisation. The Government has committed £2bn to protect and modernise the network, to ensure that the millions of customers using the Post Office every week continue to be able to access key services.

"With nearly 12,000 branches, the Post Office network has an unparalleled reach up and down the country. Today's good news also recognises the important social and economic role that subpostmasters play in local communities across the UK, bringing important revenue and footfall to Post Offices and helping to protect their long term future."

People with a Post Office Account can withdraw money or check their balance at any of the Post Office's 11,500 branches or using one of the ATMs. The account also provides the option for claimants who need someone else to collect their money for them to apply for a second card.