It was announced earlier this month by the Treasury Department that as of Jan. 1, paper savings bonds will no longer be sold.
It is estimated that ending the sales of paper payroll and new issues of OTC bonds will save $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 can be bought online at the TreasuryDirect site. Paper savings bonds can still be bought using part, or all, of a tax refund.
Even with paper bonds as the norm, however, investors have proven very forgetful when it comes to redeeming these notes once they reach maturity.According to the U.S. Treasury, each year 25,000 payments are returned to the Department of the Treasury as undeliverable and "billions of dollars in savings bonds have stopped earning interest, but haven't been cashed." That total is estimated at more than $16 billion. In response, the site Treasury Hunt was created for investors to track savings bonds that are no longer earning interest, encouraging them to cash or reinvest them.