Treasury restores annual purchase limit to $10,000 per series

Wednesday, January 4th, 2012
Categorized as: Savings Bond FAQ

After halving the annual purchase limit of Savings Bonds on Jan 1 by discontinuing paper Savings Bonds, the Treasury today restored the annual limit to what it was last year by increasing the purchase limit for electronic bonds at TreasuryDirect.

The new limit is $10,000 per series (EE or I) per Social Security Number per calendar year for electronic bonds at TreasuryDirect. An investor can purchase an additional $5,000 per year in paper series I bonds using a tax refund and IRS Form 8888.

From 1941 to 1947 the annual limit was $3,750 (over $35,000 a year after adjusting for inflation). From 1947 to 2007 the limit was $30,000 per series. The Treasury still has not explained why the limit is so much lower now than it has been historically, although it’s nice that the limit has been restored to what it was last year.

Here is the Treasury’s Press Release:

WASHINGTON – The annual purchase limit for online United States Savings Bonds is $10,000 per series, effective January 4, 2012, the Department of the Treasury announced today. The new limit applies to Series EE and Series I savings bonds purchased through TreasuryDirect at www.treasurydirect.gov. Under the new rules, an individual can buy a maximum of $10,000 worth of electronic savings bonds of each series in a single calendar year, or a total of $20,000.

Since 2008, investors could buy a maximum of $5,000 in each series and in each form (paper or electronic). So a single owner could buy $20,000 in one year. As of January 1, 2012, paper bonds are no longer being sold through financial institutions. With today’s announcement, the total amount an individual can purchase in online savings bonds in one calendar year is $20,000. An investor still can purchase up to $5,000 annually in Series I paper savings bonds using his/her tax refund and IRS Form 8888.

Savings bond purchases have been subject to an annual limit since Series E Bonds were first issued in 1941. Over the years, limits have been adjusted by the Treasury Department several times and have ranged from a low of $3,750 for Series E bonds from 1941 through 1947 to the $30,000 limit for both Series EE and Series I bonds from 2003 through 2007.

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FDIC Insured Certificates of Deposit can pay 1 or 2% more than savings bonds when held for a similar length of time. See top CD Rates Below:

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