EE Bonds can be purchased as either paper or electronic bonds.
Individuals can purchase savings bonds if they have a Social Security number and
are a US resident (including minors), a US citizen living abroad, or a civilian
employed by the United States. Entities such as trusts, partnerships, estates, corporations,
associations, and fiduciaries are also able to buy paper savings bonds.
EE Bond Purchase Limits
There is a $10,000 limit per year per person (Social Security number) for electronic
EE Bonds. In January 2012, the U.S. Treasury stopped issuing new paper EE Bonds. Existing paper bonds can be converted to electronic
bonds through TreasuryDirect's SmartExchange feature.
Bonds purchased as gifts
do not count towards your individual limit. There was a $30,000 limit at one time,
but the Treasury reduced the limit to $5,000 for paper and electronic bonds each in 2008 indicating the reduction would
help focus the savings bond program on individuals with less money to save than
others. With the decision to remove paper bonds completely, the limit for electronic bonds was raised to $10,000.
Americans invested $1.47 billion in savings bonds in fiscal 2011, down from $6.6 billion in 2001. That 78 percent drop was under way even before the government cut the maximum annual purchase to $5,000, from $30,000 [in 2008].
RONNIE CROCKER, HOUSTON CHRONICLE
Paper and Electronic EE Bonds
Paper EE Bonds -Paper EE Bonds are no longer issued and must be purchased electronically. Paper EE Bonds were available in $50,
$75, $100, $200, $500, $1,000, $5,000, and $10,000 denominations. Paper
EE Bonds were purchased at most local banks, through mail-in-order from
the U.S. Treasury, or from certain banks through online access. Paper
EE bonds were bought at half the denomination of the bond (a $50 denomination
EE Bond were sold for $25). If a paper savings bond is lost, stolen, or destroyed,
it can be replaced by the Treasury.
As of January 1, 2012, paper EE Bonds will not be sold directly
to the consumer. The Treasury phased out paper bonds in a cost-savings measure,
forcing individuals to use TreasuryDirect for all direct EE Bond purchases. Paper
bonds can be replaced or reissued as paper, but newly purchased bonds will be electronic.
Series I Savings Bonds also fall under the new policy, with the exception of purchasing
I Bonds with a tax refund.
Electronic EE Bonds - Electronic EE Bonds are available
in any denomination to the penny with a minimum value of $25. Unlike paper bonds,
the electronic EE Bonds mature immediately, so you do not have
to hold the bond to maturity to receive the face value. Although the maturity times
are different, a paper bond and electronic bond will be worth the same at all times
given identical issue dates and initial purchase sizes. Electronic EE
Bonds are available through the TreasuryDirect website and as part of the
payroll savings plan program through TreasuryDirect. Paper bonds can be converted
to electronic bonds using the SmartExchange program in TreasuryDirect.
Page last modified 1/31/2012