NCUA Guidance Helps with Savings Bond Changes

The National Credit Union Administration (NCUA) has issued a letter to credit unions (11-CU-15) to provide guidance in answering members’ questions that might be sparked by upcoming changes to the U.S. Savings Bond program.

After 75 years of regular sales, savings bonds will no longer be sold at credit unions and other financial institutions as of Jan. 1, 2012, according to the U.S. Department of the Treasury.

Series EE and I savings bonds will still be made available for purchase via the Treasury’s online purchase platform, TreasuryDirect.gov. Consumers can also use the Treasury’s online platform to convert existing paper bonds into electronic bonds and to purchase savings bonds via a payroll savings plan. The Treasury estimates that the move from paper to electronic bonds will save $70 million in taxpayer funds over five years.

The NCUA letter advises credit unions, as they respond to member questions and assist them through this transition, to consider the following:

  • Educate members about the upcoming changes. Let members know they will no longer be able to buy paper savings bonds at your credit union or by mail order. Refer members to TreasuryDirect.gov, where they can purchase, manage, and redeem electronic savings bonds online.
  • Stop accepting applications for savings bonds after Dec. 31, 2011. Members have until the close of business on that date to submit final purchase applications and funds. Final applications mailed directly to the Federal Reserve by members must be received by Dec. 31.
  • Continue to redeem savings bonds on behalf of your members. Consumers currently hold more than 670 million paper bonds worth $181 billion. Also, inform members that paper bonds that have not matured but are lost, stolen, or destroyed can be reissued in either paper or electronic form.

The Treasury Department is offering a free toolkit to help communicate changes to consumers.

 

Questions? Contact the Compliance Hotline: 1.800.546.4465, compliance@nwcua.org.

Posted in Advocacy News, NCUA.