When the U.S. government – under President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s directive – issued the nation’s first “baby bonds” in 1935, the new financial product served two purposes: bonds gave ordinary citizens an opportunity to do their part for the war effort, and when they matured in 10 years, owners earned interest on their investment. Following World War II, the Treasury Department continued to issue savings bonds to meet consumer demand, but maturity dates for each of the new classifications and series have been anything but consistent.
A fast way to figure out the maturity date on a savings bond is to ask whomever bought the bond for you and then do the math based on charts posted on a variety of websites, including the one on the U.S. Treasury Department site. If the person is no longer in the picture, visit your favorite bank, savings and loan association or credit union. Staffers can consult redemption charts to compute the maturity date on your bond(s) based on the design, series and issuance date stamp. You can also call the Treasury Department directly and have it put you in touch with a regional bureau office to verify the bond's maturity.
Process of Elimination
Use the process of elimination to figure out which bonds have already matured so you don't have to search further. Any bond that’s identified on the face of the certificate as an A, B, C, D, F, G, I, J or K type has already matured. Things get more complicated when evaluating Series E and HH bonds. Series E bonds are mature if they were issued before November or December of 1965 and are at least 30 years old based on the date stamp appearing on the bond. H Bonds older than 30 years are also mature. HH bonds bearing dates of at least 20 years ago plus bonds bearing Freedom Share or Savings Note designations are all mature.
The E and EE Bond Conundrum
E Bonds and Savings Notes are considered accrual securities. When issued, they were designed to stop increasing in value at maturity per the date stamp added at the time of the sale, but the government extended maturity dates on some, which may be why you’re having a hard time figuring the maturity date of yours. EE Bonds were originally issued to mature as follows: January to October 1980 – 11 years; November to April 1981 – 9 years; May to October 1982 – 8 years; November to October 1986 – 10 years; November to February 1993 – 12 years; March to April 1995 – 18 years; May to May 2003 – 17 years; June 2003 to present – 20 years. Check dates against a calender for maturity date verification.
Verify Maturity by Calendar Date
Dig out calendars to figure out the maturity date(s) on your savings bond(s). If your E bond was issued between May 1941 and November 1965, it matured in 40 years. Series E bonds issued between December 1965 and June 1980 matured in 30 years. Every EE Bond matured in 30 years. H Bonds issued between June 1952 and January 1957 matured in 29 years and eight months, but those sold between February 1957 and December 1979 required 30 years to mature. If you own HH Bonds, your life is simple: Add 20 years to the issue date. Finally, if you possess I Bonds or Savings Notes, add 30 years to the date stamp printed on the bonds to ascertain maturity.
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