No more paper savings bonds?

Beginning Jan. 1, walking into a bank and purchasing a paper savings bond will be a thing of the past. The new year will usher in a new way of handling savings bonds — the financial practice that began in 1935 is moving completely online.

Public affairs specialist Lateefah Thompson, from the Bureau of Public Debt, said that online savings bonds have been offered as an option since 2002. The difference now is that online will be the only option.

This is a continuation of the “go green” initiative that the federal government began implementing in April.
Thompson said that the move to online savings bonds will save the government more than 70 million dollars in the first five years on paper, printing, and mailing costs.

Bonds will no longer be purchased from financial institutions such as banks. Instead, to purchase a bond, you can log onto www.treasurydirect.gov and create a free account. From there, you can buy, manage and redeem Series EE and I savings bonds. You can also convert existing paper savings bonds to electronic and purchase bonds as a gift.

Your bonds will appear in your Treasury Direct account, which you may view at any time.

Thompson noted that investors who already have paper savings bonds will still be able to redeem them at banks. No new paper bonds will be issued through banks after the new year, however.

Series I paper savings bonds will still be available through the Internal Revenue Service. You can designate a part or all of your tax refund to be sent to you in the form of a savings bond. These bonds will be printed in your name and you will receive them in the mail. For more information about this, visit www.irs.gov.
For more information about online savings bonds, visit www.treasurydirect.gov.