|Bureau of Public Debt - Lost and Unredeemed US Savings Bonds|
All U S savings bonds stop earning interest at final maturity, 40 years or less from issue. Only owners of Series H or HH bonds that pay interest by check (less than 1% of all bonds) are notified - all others (including owners of Series EE savings bonds) must take affirmative action to replace or redeem lost bonds.
The value of unredeemed US Savings Bonds that have reached final maturity was $7 billion in 2000, but currently totals $17 billion in 2012. One explanation for the dramatic increase - we're in a time period when both 30- and 40-year bonds issued during the heyday of this type of investment are coming to final maturity.
The Bureau of Public Debt processes claims averaging $7-10,000 daily, but is unable to track down the vast majority of missing owners. Records are at least thirty years old, addresses are not current, and many owners have changed name after marriage or divorce.
In addition to lost, destroyed and forgotten savings bonds, each year thousands of new savings bonds and bond interest payments go undelivered when the savings bond owner moves and fails to provide a forwarding address. The US Treasury also has billions of dollars in outstanding bearer and registered securities (i.e. Treasury bonds and notes), as well as Postal Savings System Bonds and Postal Savings Notes (Freedom Shares).
For assistance tracking down lost, destroyed
and unredeemed US Savings Bonds and other
government securities go to:
|Special Note: In 1935, the U.S. Treasury initiated a safekeeping program allowing individual investors to store bonds in vaults at Federal Reserve banks. In 1972, over 700,000 matured bonds valued at $50 million were held. Almost half belonged to World War II and other veterans. Although safekeeping services are no longer offered to the public, the Army, Navy, Marines and Air Force provide storage for up to one year after a member leaves service.|
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