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2-Month Effort
NIGMS Launches U.S. Savings Bonds Drive

Dozens of keyworkers representing each of NIH's institutes and centers, as well as the Office of the Director, feasted on pizza at a luncheon May 5 in Wilson Hall that launched the U.S. Savings Bonds drive. The campaign extends until June 30, and is headed this year by the National Institute of General Medical Sciences.

Its director, Dr. Marvin Cassman, issued an all-hands email May 10 touting the benefits of bond-holding. NIGMS Executive Officer Martha Pine gave the keynote talk at the luncheon in Bldg. 1, emphasizing the merits of the new I Bond.

NIGMS Executive Officer Martha Pine addresses the lunchtime gathering, emphasizing the benefits of the new I Bond.

This year, there is a special web site — hosted by the Office of Human Resource Management — dedicated to the bond drive. Visit http://www1.od.nih.gov/ohrm/bonds to find a list of keyworkers, and bond application forms that you can fill out electronically.

NIH'ers can choose to invest in either the new Series I Bonds or traditional Series EE Bonds. Series I Bonds are sold at full face value, and pay a fixed rate over and above inflation for 30 years and are indexed to inflation. So your investment is guaranteed to stay ahead of inflation. Series EE Bonds are sold at half their face value and earn rates based on the market returns of 5-year Treasury securities. Both Series I and EE Bonds are backed by the full faith and credit of the United States and the interest they earn is exempt from state and local income taxes.

Carla Floyd, an NIGMS savings bond coordinator, helps kick off the bond drive at the canvassers' luncheon in Bldg. 1.

In addition, there are special tax benefits available for investors who use Savings Bonds to save for their children's education. If you qualify, you can exclude all or part of the interest earned by your bonds from your federal income taxes when you redeem them to pay for college or technical school tuition and fees.

Here are some of the I Bond's attractive features:

  • I Bonds are based on a straight-forward idea. They're sold at face value and grow with inflation-protected earnings for up to 30 years.

  • I Bonds are affordable. You can invest as little as $50 or as much as $30,000 per year.

  • I Bonds are safe. They are U.S. Treasury securities backed by the United States Government.

  • I Bonds are tax advantaged. You can defer federal taxes on earnings for up to 30 years and they're exempt from state and local income taxes. The best part is, you don't need to do anything to get these benefits – they're built right into I Bonds.

  • I Bonds will usually increase in value every month, and interest is compounded semiannually.

  • I Bonds are liquid and can be turned into cash anytime after 6 months.

And remember, buying I Bonds goes a long way toward solving the biggest problem that all investors face: finding a way to save that guarantees that inflation won't eat away the value of their savings. For example, if inflation averages only 2.5 percent, in just 10 years it will take $1.28 to equal today's dollar. That means your savings would have to earn 2.5 percent just to stay even. Because I Bonds pay a rate of return over and above changes in the Consumer Price Index for all urban consumers, you'll always keep up.

Dr. Steven Hausman, NIAMS deputy director, greets each savings bond canvasser with a smile.

Series EE bonds are Treasury securities that earn interest at market-based rates for up to 30 years. The purchase price of a bond is 50 percent of its face amount; for example, a $100 bond costs $50. Interest is added to the redemption value every month and paid to the investor when the bond is redeemed. The issue date for EE bonds, printed in their upper right-hand corner, is the month and year an authorized issuing agent received the full purchase price of the bond. The issue date determines when a bond begins and stops earning interest. Bonds are available through the payroll savings plan in $100, $200, $500 and $1,000 denominations. Contact your keyworker for more information.


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