Payment of pensions and benefits: a survey of social security recipients paid by order book and girocheque

Authors: Professor Elaine Kempson, Claire Whyley
Funded by: Department for Work and Pensions
Published by: Corporate Document Services
Publication date: 2001
Report number: DWP Research Report No 146
ISBN: 1841233706

In May 1999, the Government announced that they would begin the process of making automated credit transfer (ACT) into bank or building society accounts the normal method of benefit payment from 2003.

The aim of this research was to provide an overview of the characteristics, experiences and attitudes of benefit recipients who are not currently paid by ACT. It was based on a quantitative, face-to-face survey of 4,805 people from across Britain, who were receiving one of six social security benefits by either order book or girocheque. These included recipients of the State Retirement Pension; Child Benefit; Incapacity Benefit; Disability Living Allowance; Income Support and Jobseeker's Allowance. A parallel survey was undertaken in Northern Ireland.

The research report examines people’s awareness of, and willingness to change to ACT of benefits and pensions. It classifies them into five groups ranging from those who will be easy to transfer to ACT to those who will be difficult to transfer. Attitudes and experiences of using banks and the Post Office are explored, along with strategies for managing money. The report concludes that a majority of people who are not currently paid by ACT can be encouraged to transfer to ACT fairly easily, especially if the Post Office is successful in agreeing agency arrangements with the majority of banks. A minority of people will be much more resistant to change, and these are mostly either elderly people who make little use of the accounts they already have, or else people who have no account and are very disengaged from banking.


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