Originally created 04/29/00

Series E savings bonds reach maturity this year



Find your safe deposit box key; it may be time to look at those old savings bonds.

The Treasury Department is getting the word out that 1960 and 1970 Series E U.S. Savings Bonds and 1970 Savings Notes will reach maturity this year and will stop accruing interest.

Bond holders can either cash them in or exchange them for Series HH bonds if the redemption value exceeds $500, said Kelly Alred, a spokesman for the U.S. Savings Bonds program in Atlanta.

"It's up to the bond holder to make the decision," Mr. Alred said. "But they should do something because (the bonds) are no longer earning interest."

Bond owners cashing in must pay federal income tax on earned interest. Exchanging the bonds for Series HH defers income tax for up to 20 years. Savings bonds are exempt from state and local taxes.

Series E bonds were purchased at 75 percent of their face value. A $100 Series E bond, purchased for $75 in April 1960, is worth $769.44 today.

A Series E bond purchased in April 1970 is today worth $549.44.

Of the $185 billion in outstanding savings bonds, about $7 billion are mature and no longer earning interest.

Consumers can find more information on savings bonds at banks, credit unions and the Treasury Department's savings bond Web site at www.savingsbonds.gov.

Reach Damon Cline at (706) 823-3486.