On July 13, 2011, the Department of the Treasury’s Bureau of the Public Debt announced (Off-site Link) that as of January 1, 2012, paper savings bonds no longer will be sold at financial institutions. This action supports the Treasury’s goal to increase the number of electronic transactions with citizens and businesses, and is expected to save American taxpayers approximately $70 million over the first five years.
Ending over-the-counter (OTC) sales (Off-site Link) of paper savings bonds is a continuation of Treasury’s all-electronic initiative announced (Off-site Link) in April 2010. As part of the initiative, the Treasury stopped the sale of paper bonds through traditional payroll plans at the end of 2010. It is estimated that ending the sales of paper payroll and new issues of OTC bonds will save a total of $120 million over the next five years in areas such as printing, mailing, storing bond stock and paying fees to financial institutions for processing bond applications.
The U.S. Savings Bonds Program was first introduced in 1935 amidst the Great Depression. Although paper bonds are being discontinued, electronic Series EE and I savings bonds will remain available for purchase via TreasuryDirect®. This secure, Web-based system, operated by the Bureau of the Public Debt, has been used by investors since 2002 to purchase savings bonds online.
“Savings bonds are very much a part of this country’s history and culture, and will remain a part of America’s future, but in electronic form. It’s time for us to take a 1935 model and make it a 21st century investment tool.”
“Through TreasuryDirect, investors have an easy and convenient way to purchase and manage their bonds free of charge,” stated Bureau of the Public Debt Commissioner Van Zeck. "Investors will no longer have to worry about misplacing, losing or storing paper savings bonds."
Enrolling in TreasuryDirect is free…and easy. Just follow the steps to open an account for your institution. Once an account has been established, investors can:
For more information about how to enroll in TreasuryDirect, visit www.treasurydirect.gov (Off-site Link).
People currently holding paper savings bonds can continue to redeem them at financial institutions. Bonds, which have not matured, but were lost, stolen or destroyed, can be reissued in paper or electronic form.
Series I paper savings bonds remain available for purchase using part, or all, of one’s tax refund. For more information on this feature, visit the Using Your Income Tax Refund to Save by Buying U.S. Savings Bonds (Off-site Link) page on the Internal Revenue Service's website (Off-site Link).
For more information about the elimination of paper savings bonds, visit www.treasurydirect.gov (Off-site Link).
“TreasuryDirect” and "SmartExchange" are registered trademarks of the United States Department of the Treasury.
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