I took the plunge today.
Having verified that my new bank account actually exists and actually works I reckoned it was about time to start telling people.
Naturally the most important place to start was with RTE who pay my pension. I phoned them. I had a very pleasant chat with the receptionist about the Good Old Days and eventually got through to Payroll. No sweat says the girl. Just send the old and new bank details in an email. All done. Happy days.
But then came the one I was dreading – the State Pension and the Carer’s Allowance. The first port of call was to Google – how to I change my bank details for the two payments? The answer came swiftly back: all I have to do is log into the dreaded MyGov. FUCK!
I should explain that MyGov is a site set up by our glorious gubmint that is supposed to do everything gubmint related without having to speak to anyone. I had tried to join before but had got stuck on one point – I would have to present my phone, in person to a Social Welfare office to show that I owned it [how would they know I hadn’t just nicked it?]. Anyway, just to see if this daft roadbump was still in place I tried logging in again. I got through the username/password after several tries. It asked for my PPS number. I supplied it. It threw me out and told me I’d have to phone.
I phoned the number they supplied. I went through a series of menus. I got music and a horrible voice “apologising for the delay but that they were receiving more calls than usual”. The didn’t indicate what “usual” was but I waited. And waited. And waited. I put the phone on speaker. I tended to Herself and also fired up the washing machine. I made another mug of tea. I was just enjoying a fresh pipeful when a young [sounding] girl picked up. No problem says she, could I answer some security questions? For some reason she asked a lot of questions about Daughter but seemed happy with the results. She sent a verification number to my mobile. I told her what the number was. She was happy and verified my account. It was easier than a visit to Skobieville anyway.
I logged into MyGov. This time I got in. But it sent me a verification number to my phone first. Having jumped that hurdle I went into a very long menu with all the gubmint services. I found the Pensions one and selected it. I would have to enter a different part of the site. I entered it and it sent me a verification number. Eventually I found the banking details. I changed them. It sent me a verification number. It said I was done. I then got a panicky email telling me someone had just changed my banking details and I had better log into MyGov immediately. No chance.
I couldn’t find a place to change my Carer’s Allowance details. Maybe they’ll have the intelligence to switch both accounts, but I doubt it.
Now all I have to do is sit back and wait.
It will be interesting to see what goes where?