As readers who have been investing in savings bonds over the last 10 years know, the Treasury has a long record of making savings bonds less attractive. The latest change is the ending of the paper savings bonds which the Treasury announced in July. Except for tax refunds, savings bonds will only be available online through Treasury Direct. People will no longer be able to buy savings bonds at their banks.
We're not the only ones noticing how the Treasury has been hurting the savings bond program. This New York Times Op-Ed article points out these unfortunate changes:
The decision to eliminate the sale of paper bonds at banks is only the latest of several actions that have blunted the impact of these positive developments. The federal government has for years done little to support the savings bond program — eliminating its marketing budget, ending a program that allowed employees to buy savings bonds through payroll deduction, lowering annual purchase limits and making savings bond terms less favorable for small investors.
The Op-Ed asks the Treasury to reverse its decision to end paper savings bond. It also offers some other interesting ways to make savings bonds more accessible such as making them like gift cards that can be purchased at stores.
It's nice to see an Op-Ed on the side of savers. It's just one of the areas where we need Save Our Savers advocates.
Even with a fixed rate of zero percent, Series I Savings Bond is currently a good short-term deal, and based on the inflation numbers, it may even be a better deal. We'll know more in October. I have more details about this in my May I Bond review.