U.S. Treasury Dept. to move paper U.S. Savings Bonds to electronic format after Dec. 31, says transition will save taxpayers US$120M over five years

WASHINGTON , December 27, 2011 (press release) – The U.S. Department of the Treasury today reiterated that paper U.S. Savings Bonds are going electronic after December 31 - a move that will save taxpayers $120 million over five years. To commemorate the rich history of savings bonds from 1935 to present, the Treasury Department has launched an online timeline that captures major milestones through the years.

"As we transition our savings bond program online - a move that will produce significant taxpayer savings - we wanted to step back and remember how savings bonds came to symbolize the events, people and places that shaped our nation through good times and difficult periods over the past 76 years," said Rosie Rios, Treasurer of the United States.

The interactive timeline features archived images of savings bond posters, special events and other memorabilia through the years, including photos or videos of movie stars such as Judy Garland and Mickey Rooney and popular television programs such as "Lassie," "The Bugs Bunny Show" and "Cheers." The interactive timeline is available at www.treasurydirect.gov/timeline.htm .

Ending the sales of paper savings bonds at financial institutions, originally announced in July 2011, supports the Treasury Department's goal to increase the number of electronic transactions with citizens and businesses. In December 2010, the Treasury Department ended the sale of paper savings bonds through traditional payroll plans. Both actions will save taxpayers $120 million over five years.

Series EE and I electronic savings bonds remain available for purchase on TreasuryDirect, a secure, web-based system operated by Public Debt - where investors have been purchasing savings bonds since 2002.

Opening a TreasuryDirect account takes only a few minutes and is free. Account holders can:

Buy, manage, and redeem Series EE and I electronic savings bonds.

Convert Series EE and I paper savings bonds to electronic through the SmartExchange® feature.

Purchase electronic savings bonds as a gift.

Enroll in a payroll savings plan for purchasing electronic bonds.

Invest in other Treasury securities such as bills, notes, bonds, and TIPS (Treasury Inflation-Protected Securities).

Although paper savings bonds are no longer available at financial institutions, local banks and credit unions will continue redeeming paper savings bonds. For more information about how to purchase savings bonds and other Treasury securities, or how to replace lost, stolen or destroyed bonds, visit www.treasurydirect.gov .

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 .

Embeddable/Downloadable B-roll is available at www.newsinfusion.com/events/ussavingsbonds .

The historic timeline, high resolution images and additional information are available for download at: http://www.treasurydirect.gov/news/pressroom/pressroom_comotcend1211.htm .

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