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Frequently Asked Questions for Financial Institutions About the End of Paper Savings Bond Sales

What is changing?

After December 31, 2011, the U.S. Department of Treasury will end sales of paper Series EE and I Savings Bonds through over-the-counter channels, including financial institutions and mail-in orders. Savings bonds will remain available for purchase as electronic issues in TreasuryDirect.

Does this change impact institutions who submit purchase applications electronically?

Yes. All sales of paper savings bonds through financial institutions will end regardless of the method used to submit the purchase applications to the Federal Reserve Bank.

What do we need to do?

Issuing agents should stop accepting applications for paper savings bonds after December 31, 2011. Customers have until the close of business on December 31, 2011, to submit their final purchase applications and funds. The back-end processing schedule remains the same and agents will have the normal five-day period after December 31, 2011, to submit orders to the Federal Reserve Bank.

What happens to the issuing agent fees we receive?

You will be paid, as usual, for the savings bond applications you process through the end of the year and you will have the normal five-day period after December 31, 2011, to submit orders to the Federal Reserve Bank. After that date there will no longer be a need to pay issuing agent fees.

When will we receive our final issuing agent fee payments?

We will follow our normal payment cycle for the final round of issuing agent fees. You should not experience a delay.

Do you have materials we can hand out to customers?

Yes. An online toolkit is available to assist you.

Should we still redeem bonds?

Yes. This change does not affect your ability to redeem savings bonds for your customers and we encourage you to continue providing this service.

What's the last day our institution can submit purchase applications?

Issuing agents will have the normal five-day period after December 31, 2011, to submit orders to the Federal Reserve Bank. The fifth business day is January 9, 2012.

Our institution routes savings bond applications through a centralized point. What if we can't get them to FRB Minneapolis by January 9, 2012?

Applications not submitted timely will be rejected and returned to you. It will then be your responsibility to return the funds to the customer. Under normal circumstances, Treasury would simply assess a penalty and process the late applications; however, since the paper program is ending, that will not be an option.

What will happen with applications submitted to the FRB that contain errors?

FRB Minneapolis will contact you to resolve the error. You will have 24 hours to respond. After that time the application will be rejected and the funds returned.

What should we do if we discover an error on a customer's order before we submit it to the FRB?

Your institution will need to quickly resolve the error with the customer since all final submissions are due by January 9, 2012.

What should financial institutions do to resolve problems with bonds ordered in prior months? (Example: wrong name or Social Security Number.)

We'll continue to process reissue requests to correct errors.

What about bonds that are lost and never arrive in the mail?

We'll continue to process claims for paper bonds.

Since December 31, 2011, is a Saturday, our system will give the transaction a January date. Is that a problem?

We will not accept requests for bonds with January issue dates. For mailed applications, we will use the date on the application to determine the issue date. Please clearly mark the date funds were received and get the applications to FRB Minneapolis by January 9, 2012. For applications entered electronically using Savings Bonds Direct, please be sure to key in the actual receipt date (December 31 or before).

If your bond submission process is automated and will automatically show the January receipt date, you may want to stop taking savings bond applications a little before the December 31 end date.

What happens if we can't get the applications to you in time?

Applications received late will be rejected and returned to you.

Is there a toll-free number we can provide to customers who have questions?

Yes. Our website www.treasurydirect.gov has comprehensive information. However, if customers still have questions they can call 1-800-553-2663 for assistance.