Updated March 31 at 10:09pm

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Treasury eliminates paper savings bonds

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WASHINGTON – Beginning Jan. 1, 2012, paper savings bonds will no longer be sold at financial institutions. The announcement was made earlier this year by the Bureau of the Public Debt, a federal agency.

First introduced in 1935, savings bonds in Series EE and I will remain available through purchase in TreasuryDirect, a secure, Web-based system operated by the U.S. Department of the Treasury, through which investors have been purchasing savings bonds since 2002. The bonds are available 24 hours per day, seven days per week.

The action supports Treasury’s goal to increase the number of electronic transactions with citizens and businesses. According to the department, it will save American taxpayers approximately $70 million over the first five years.

Ending over-the-counter sales of paper savings bonds at financial institutions is a continuation of Treasury’s all-electronic initiative announced in April 2010. As part of the initiative, Treasury stopped the sale of paper bonds through traditional payroll plans, effective Dec. 31, 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 fees paid to financial institutions for processing bond applications.

“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,” said Public Debt Commissioner Van Zeck. “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,” Zeck said. “Investors will no longer have to worry about misplacing, losing or storing paper savings bonds.”

Those 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 www.irs.gov.

For more information about the elimination of paper savings bonds and how to enroll in TreasuryDirect, visit www.treasurydirect.gov.

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