Payments no longer paid in book form causing serious confusion for pensioners
The Government’s decision to change the way in which people draw down their pensions is a causing serious distress for many older people who are fearful of change and will struggle to cope with the new system, according to Fine Gael Seanad Spokesperson, Senator Jerry Buttimer.
“This week pensioners will be forced to deal with a significant change in the way they receive their pensions when, from Friday, payments will no longer be available to be paid in book form and will instead be paid electronically through a nominated bank or post office.
“This is a cause of real upset and confusion for many pensioners who rely hugely on routine and who are uncomfortable with change in any form.
“Some years ago all pensioners were offered the option of continuing on the book system or having their pension paid in book form, and while many opted to retain the old system, they are now being forced to cope to the change which is this week is being forced upon them.
“I have had numerous letters and phone calls from constituents who are deeply concerned about the emotional and psychological effects this move will have on elderly relatives. One man I spoke to told of his mother, whose short-term memory impairment does not allow her to cope well with change. She no longer has a bank or post office account, preferring to deal only with the credit union and to top it all she refused to allow anyone else to handle her books.
“Without warning or prior consultation this system is being callously pushed through despite the impact it will have on the independence and ability of many to conduct their own affairs. Elderly people are only just beginning to cope with medical card debacle and now they are being asked to make huge adjustments in relation to their finance. Is there no end to the callous way in which this Government will treat its most vulnerable citizens in their twilight years? Fianna Fail has no problem squandering €60 million on e-voting machines but refuses to pay a pittance to maintain a system that already works, preserving the peace of mind of our elderly people in the process.”