Starting next year, you’ll no longer be able to buy paper savings bonds at banks and other financial institutions.
Paper savings bonds, which have been around since 1935, will be replaced by electronic bonds come January 1, the Treasury Department’s Bureau of Public Debt said Wednesday.
Treasury said the move will save taxpayers $70 million over the first five years.
“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,” Public Debt Commissioner Van Zeck said in a statement. “It’s time for us to take a 1935 model and make it a 21st century investment tool.”
In 2012, you will only be able to buy electronic savings bonds in Series EE and I through TreasuryDirect, a free online bond-buying portal that has been available since 2002.
There will be one exception, however: You’ll still be able to use your tax refund to buy Series I paper savings bonds.
The Treasury announced its “all-electronic initiative” last year, and has already ended the sale of paper bonds through traditional payroll plans. The department estimated that the all-electronic initiative, which eliminates costs associated with printing, mailing, storage, and fees paid to financial institutions for processing savings bond applications, could result in a total savings of $120 million over the next five years.
For those who hold paper savings bonds, don’t put them in the shredder. The bonds can still be redeemed at financial institutions. Paper bonds that have yet to reach their maturity date and have been lost, stolen or destroyed, may also be converted to electronic form.