Savings bonds go all electronic

Tuesday - 7/20/2010, 10:13am EDT

Joyce Harris, director, Public and Legislative Affairs at the Bureau of the Public Debt, Treasury Department

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By Suzanne Kubota
Senior Internet Editor
FederalNewsRadio.com

All Hands on Desks! In a move to go green, savings bonds are going electronic. This means that if you have an allotment set up to buy bonds, you need to make some changes.

As of September 30th, "federal employees will no longer be able to purchase paper savings bonds through payroll deduction," Joyce Harris, the director of Public and Legislative Affairs at the Bureau of the Public Debt, at the Treasury Department told Federal News Radio.

But don't worry. "Savings bonds are not going away," Harris reassured. "Payroll participants can purchase electronic savings bonds" just by signing up on TreasuryDirect.gov, setting up an account and then request their agency make a direct deposit into their account.

However, deadlines are approaching. If you are on a military pay program, reports the MarineCorpsTimes, you have until July 31st to contact your payroll officer and get copies of the necessary paperwork to handle the transition and create an account on TreasuryDirect.gov. Civilian employees, paid by the Defense Finance and Accounting Service, have until August 31st; all other government employees have until September 30th.

And if you have an absolute need for a paper savings bond ("makes a great gift" as the saying goes), they will still be available "through most financial institutions and through tax refunds by filling out form" IRS 8888, said Harris.

Savings bonds are one part of Treasury's "Go Green" initiative, which Harris said is expected to "save taxpayers more than $400 million dollars in the first five years."