[Federal Register Volume 79, Number 31 (Friday, February 14, 2014)]
[Rules and Regulations]
[Pages 8858-8860]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2014-03371]


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DEPARTMENT OF THE TREASURY

Fiscal Service

31 CFR Parts 353, 360, and 363


Regulations Governing Definitive United States Savings Bonds, 
Series EE and HH; Regulations Governing Definitive United States 
Savings Bonds, Series I; Regulations Governing Securities Held in 
TreasuryDirect

AGENCY: Bureau of the Fiscal Service, Fiscal Service, Treasury.

ACTION: Final rule.

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SUMMARY: The Department of the Treasury (Treasury) is eliminating the 
printing of paper Series EE and Series I savings bonds in reissue and 
claims transactions. Customers requesting these transactions will now 
have the option of receiving either book-entry (electronic) bonds or 
payment in lieu of the traditional paper bonds. Treasury is also 
updating agency contact information and making a minor revision in the 
Regulations Governing Securities Held in TreasuryDirect[supreg].

DATES: This final rule is effective February 14, 2014.

ADDRESSES: You can download this Final Rule at the following Internet 
addresses: http://www.publicdebt.treas.gov; http://www.gpo.gov; or 
http://www.regulations.gov.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:
    Technical information: Jerry Kelly, Acting Director, 304-480-6319 
or jerry.kelly@fiscal.treasury.gov.
    Legal information: Lisa Martin, Attorney-Adviser, 304-480-8692 or 
lisa.martin@fiscal.treasury.gov.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

I. Background

    In continuation of its all-electronic initiative announced in 2010, 
Treasury is working toward a goal of issuing savings bonds only in 
book-entry (electronic) form and eliminating the issuance or reissuance 
of definitive (paper) savings bonds.
    Through previous actions, Treasury has created its online 
TreasuryDirect[supreg] system in which savings bond customers may 
safely purchase and hold their Series EE and Series I bonds in book-
entry form. Treasury has developed rules and procedures that allow 
customers already holding paper Series EE and I bonds to convert those 
bonds to book-entry in their TreasuryDirect[supreg] accounts. This was 
followed by development of a process that accommodates regular payroll-
based savings through an employee's TreasuryDirect[supreg] account and 
the discontinuation of the old paper payroll savings bond program. And, 
as of January 2012, Treasury discontinued the issuance of paper Series 
EE and I bonds through traditional over-the-counter sales.

II. Amendments to Title 31 CFR

    Now, with this action to eliminate the printing of paper Series EE 
and I bonds in reissue and claims transactions, Treasury is moving 
another step closer to our all-electronic goal. Customers requesting 
reissue or replacement of paper Series EE and I bonds after February 
14, 2014, may receive their new bonds in book-entry (electronic) form 
in their TreasuryDirect[supreg] accounts. Any customers not wishing to 
receive book-entry bonds may elect to receive payment instead. The 
option to receive payment will also be available to the relatively 
small number of paper bond owners who may not be eligible to open a 
TreasuryDirect[supreg] account.
    These changes will allow Treasury to reduce program costs, enhance 
customer service, and minimize environmental impact. Moving more 
savings bonds into a book-entry environment where most routine 
transactions are paperless furthers Treasury's initiative to ``go 
green, save green.''
    Treasury is also conforming references to the 
TreasuryDirect[supreg] system, updating agency contact information, and 
revising one of the example registrations for TreasuryDirect accounts 
owned by trusts.

III. Procedural Requirements

A. Administrative Procedure Act (APA)

    Because this rule relates to United States securities, which are 
contracts between Treasury and the owner of the security, this rule 
falls within the contract exception to the APA at 5 U.S.C. 553(a)(2). 
As a result, the notice, public comment, and delayed effective date 
provisions of the APA are inapplicable to this rule.

B. Congressional Review Act (CRA)

    This rule is not a major rule pursuant to the CRA, 5 U.S.C. 801 et 
seq., because it is a minor amendment that is expected to decrease 
costs for taxpayers. It is not expected to lead to any of the results 
listed in 5 U.S.C. 804(2). This rule may take immediate effect after we 
submit a copy of it to Congress and the Comptroller General.

C. Paperwork Reduction Act (PRA)

    There is no new collection of information contained in this final 
rule that would be subject to the PRA, 44 U.S.C. 3501 et seq. Under the 
PRA, an agency may not conduct or sponsor, and a person is not required 
to respond to, a collection of information unless it displays a valid 
OMB control number. The Office of Management and Budget already has 
approved all collections of information for these parts (OMB No. 1535-
0004, OMB No. 1535-0009, OMB No. 1535-0012, OMB No. 1535-0013, OMB No. 
1535-0023, OMB No. 1535-0036, OMB No. 1535-0063, OMB No. 1535-0098, OMB 
No. 1535-0118, and OMB No. 1535-0131).

D. Regulatory Flexibility Act

    The provisions of the Regulatory Flexibility Act, 5 U.S.C. 601 et 
seq., do not apply to this rule because, pursuant to 5 U.S.C. 
553(a)(2), it is not required to be issued with notice and opportunity 
for public comment.

E. Executive Order 12866

    This rule is not a significant regulatory action pursuant to 
Executive Order 12866.

[[Page 8859]]

List of Subjects

31 CFR Part 353

    Banks and banking, Federal Reserve System, Government securities.

31 CFR Part 360

    Bonds, Federal Reserve System, Government securities, Securities.

31 CFR Part 363

    Bonds, Electronic funds transfers, Federal Reserve System, 
Government securities, Securities.

    Accordingly, for the reasons set out in the preamble, 31 CFR 
chapter II, subchapter A, is amended as follows:

PART 353--REGULATIONS GOVERNING DEFINITIVE UNITED STATES SAVINGS 
BONDS, SERIES EE AND HH

0
1. The authority citation for part 353 continues to read as follows:

    Authority:  5 U.S.C. 301; 12 U.S.C. 391; 31 U.S.C. 3105, 3125.


0
2. In part 353, revise all references to ``New Treasury Direct'' to 
read ``TreasuryDirect[supreg]''.
0
3. Amend Sec.  353.1 by revising paragraphs (a) and (b) to read as 
follows:


Sec.  353.1  Official agencies.

    (a) The Bureau of the Fiscal Service of the Department of the 
Treasury is responsible for administering the Savings Bonds Program. 
Authority to process transactions has been delegated to the Federal 
Reserve Bank of Minneapolis and may be delegated to other Federal 
Reserve Banks and Branches as fiscal agents of the United States. The 
Federal Reserve Banks and Branches, and their authority to process 
transactions as fiscal agents of the United States, are subject to 
change as determined by the Secretary of the Treasury, or his or her 
designee.
    (b) Information about savings bonds and savings bond transactions, 
including savings bond transaction forms and email contact information, 
is available through the Bureau of the Fiscal Service's Web site at 
http://www.treasurydirect.gov. Communications concerning transactions 
and requests for forms may also be addressed to:
    (1) The Bureau of the Fiscal Service, P.O. Box 7012, Parkersburg, 
WV 26106-7012; or
    (2) The Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis, Treasury Retail 
Securities Site, P.O. Box 214, Minneapolis, MN 55480-0214.
* * * * *


0
4. In Sec.  353.2, redesignate paragraphs (m) through (p) as paragraphs 
(o) through (r), redesignate paragraphs (b) through (l) as paragraphs 
(c) through (m), add new paragraphs (b) and (n), and revise 
redesignated paragraph (l) to read as follows:


Sec.  353.2  Definitions.

* * * * *
    (b) Book-entry bond means a savings bond maintained by Treasury in 
electronic or paperless form as a computer record.
* * * * *
    (l) Reissue means the cancellation and retirement of a bond and the 
issuance of a new bond or bonds of the same series, same issue date, 
and same total face amount. Reissue may also mean the cancellation and 
retirement of a bond and the issuance of a book-entry bond or bonds of 
the same series, same issue date, and same total face amount. All 
reissues are subject to the restrictions in Sec.  353.48.
* * * * *
    (n) Substitute bond means a bond or book-entry bond issued as a 
result of a claim or application for relief under subpart F of this 
part.
* * * * *


0
5. In Sec.  353.26, revise paragraph (e) to read as follows:


Sec.  353.26  Application for relief--After receipt of bond.

* * * * *
    (e) If the application is approved on or before February 14, 2014, 
relief will be granted either by the issuance of a bond bearing the 
same issue date as the bond for which the claim was filed or by 
payment. If the application is approved after February 14, 2014, relief 
for Series HH bonds will be granted either by the issuance of a bond 
bearing the same issue date as the bond for which the claim was filed 
or by payment, and relief for Series EE bonds will be granted either by 
the issuance of a book-entry bond bearing the same issue date as the 
bond for which the claim was filed or by payment.


0
6. Revise Sec.  353.27 to read as follows:


Sec.  353.27  Application for relief--Non-receipt of bond.

    If a bond issued on any transaction is not received, the issuing 
agent must be notified as promptly as possible and given all 
information about the non-receipt. An appropriate form and instructions 
will be provided. If the application is approved on or before February 
14, 2014, relief will be granted by the issuance of a bond bearing the 
same issue date as the bond that was not received. If the application 
is approved after February 14, 2014, relief for Series HH bonds will be 
granted by the issuance of a bond bearing the same issue date as the 
bond that was not received, and relief for Series EE bonds will be 
granted either by the issuance of a book-entry bond bearing the same 
issue date as the bond that was not received or by payment. Also, 
relief is authorized for the issuance of bonds for which the Secretary 
has not received payment, in order to preserve public confidence in 
dealing with issuing agents.


0
7. In Sec.  353.45, amend paragraph (b) by adding a sentence at the end 
to read as follows:


Sec.  353.45  General.

* * * * *
    (b) * * * See Sec.  353.48(a).


0
8. In Sec.  353.48, redesignate paragraphs (a) and (b) as paragraphs 
(b) and (c), and add a new paragraph (a) to read as follows:


Sec.  353.48  Restrictions on reissue.

    (a) Elimination of definitive Series EE bonds. After February 14, 
2014, the Department of the Treasury will no longer reissue Series EE 
bonds in definitive (paper) form. After that date, a request for 
reissue of a Series EE bond for any reason will only be processed under 
one of the following conditions:
    (1) If the new owner requests payment in the same transaction; or
    (2) If the new owner provides instructions to reissue in the form 
of a book-entry bond in a TreasuryDirect[supreg] account. This option 
is available for persons who are eligible to open a 
TreasuryDirect[supreg] account under the regulations in 31 CFR part 
363.
* * * * *

PART 360--REGULATIONS GOVERNING DEFINITIVE UNITED STATES SAVINGS 
BONDS, SERIES I

0
9. The authority citation for part 360 continues to read as follows:

    Authority: 5 U.S.C. 301; 31 U.S.C. 3105 and 3125.


0
10. In part 360, revise all references to ``New Treasury Direct'' to 
read ``TreasuryDirect[supreg]''.


0
11. Amend Sec.  360.1 by revising paragraphs (a) and (b) to read as 
follows:


Sec.  360.1  Official agencies.

    (a) The Bureau of the Fiscal Service of the Department of the 
Treasury is responsible for administering the Savings Bonds Program. 
Authority to process transactions has been delegated to the Federal 
Reserve Bank of Minneapolis and may be delegated to other Federal 
Reserve Banks and

[[Page 8860]]

Branches as fiscal agents of the United States. The Federal Reserve 
Banks and Branches, and their authority to process transactions as 
fiscal agents of the United States, are subject to change as determined 
by the Secretary of the Treasury, or his or her designee.
    (b) Information about savings bonds and savings bond transactions, 
including savings bond transaction forms and email contact information, 
is available through the Bureau of the Fiscal Service's Web site at 
http://www.treasurydirect.gov. Communications concerning transactions 
and requests for forms may also be addressed to:
    (1) The Bureau of the Fiscal Service, P.O. Box 7012, Parkersburg, 
WV 26106-7012; or
    (2) The Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis, Treasury Retail 
Securities Site, P.O. Box 214, Minneapolis, MN 55480-0214.
* * * * *


0
12. In Sec.  360.2, redesignate paragraphs (m) through (p) as 
paragraphs (o) through (r), redesignate paragraphs (b) through (l) as 
paragraphs (c) through (m), add new paragraphs (b) and (n), and revise 
redesignated paragraph (l) to read as follows:


Sec.  360.2  Definitions.

* * * * *
    (b) Book-entry bond means a savings bond maintained by Treasury in 
electronic or paperless form as a computer record.
* * * * *
    (l) Reissue means the cancellation and retirement of a bond and the 
issuance of a new bond or bonds of the same series, same issue date, 
and same total face amount. Reissue may also mean the cancellation and 
retirement of a bond and the issuance of a book-entry bond or bonds of 
the same series, same issue date, and same total face amount. All 
reissues are subject to the restrictions in Sec.  360.48.
* * * * *
    (n) Substitute bond means a bond or book-entry bond issued as a 
result of a claim or application for relief under subpart F of this 
part.
* * * * *


0
13. In Sec.  360.26, revise paragraph (e) to read as follows:


Sec.  360.26  Application for relief; after receipt of bond.

* * * * *
    (e) If the application is approved on or before February 14, 2014, 
relief will be granted either by the issuance of a bond bearing the 
same issue date as the bond for which the claim was filed or by 
payment. If the application is approved after February 14, 2014, relief 
will be granted either by the issuance of a book-entry bond bearing the 
same issue date as the bond for which the claim was filed or by 
payment.


0
14. Revise Sec.  360.27 to read as follows:


Sec.  360.27  Application for relief; nonreceipt of bond.

    If a bond issued on any transaction is not received, the issuing 
agent must be notified as promptly as possible and given all 
information available about the nonreceipt. An appropriate form and 
instructions will be provided. If the application is approved on or 
before February 14, 2014, relief will be granted by the issuance of a 
bond bearing the same issue date as the bond that was not received. If 
the application is approved after February 14, 2014, relief will be 
granted by the issuance of a book-entry bond bearing the same issue 
date as the bond that was not received or by payment. Also, relief is 
authorized for the issuance of bonds for which the Secretary has not 
received payment, in order to preserve public confidence in dealing 
with issuing agents.


0
15. Amend Sec.  360.45 by adding a sentence at the end to read as 
follows:


Sec.  360.45  General.

    * * * See Sec.  360.48(a).


0
16. Revise Sec.  360.48 to read as follows:


Sec.  360.48  Restrictions on reissue; denominational exchange.

    (a) Elimination of definitive Series I bonds. After February 14, 
2014, the Department of the Treasury will no longer reissue Series I 
bonds in definitive (paper) form. After that date, a request for 
reissue of a Series I bond for any reason will only be processed under 
one of the following conditions:
    (1) If the new owner requests payment in the same transaction; or
    (2) If the new owner provides instructions to reissue in the form 
of a book-entry bond in a TreasuryDirect[supreg] account. This option 
is available for persons who are eligible to open a 
TreasuryDirect[supreg] account under the regulations in 31 CFR part 
363.
    (b) Denominational exchange. Reissue is not permitted solely to 
change denominations.

PART 363--REGULATIONS GOVERNING SECURITIES HELD IN TREASURYDIRECT

0
17. The authority citation for part 363 continues to read as follows:

    Authority:  5 U.S.C. 301; 12 U.S.C. 391; 31 U.S.C. 3102, et 
seq.; 31 U.S.C. 3121, et seq.


0
18. Revise the last sentence of Sec.  363.20(c)(5) to read as follows:


Sec.  363.20  What do I need to know about the forms of registration 
that are available for purchases of securities through my 
TreasuryDirect[supreg] account?

* * * * *
    (c) * * *
    (5) * * * Registration examples: ``John Doe, Trustee under 
Declaration of Trust dated January 1, 2001, SSN 123-45-6789''; ``First 
National Bank, Trustee under Agreement with William Jones dated January 
1, 2001, EIN 12-3456789''; ``John Doe or Sarah Jones, Trustees under 
Agreement with Jane Doe dated January 1, 2001, SSN 123-45-6789''; 
``Sarah Jones, Trustee under the Will of Matthew Smith, deceased, SSN 
123-45-6789''; ``Jane Doe, Trustee of the Doe Family Trust dated 
January 1, 2001, EIN 12-3456789.''
* * * * *

Richard L. Gregg,
Fiscal Assistant Secretary.
[FR Doc. 2014-03371 Filed 2-13-14; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4810-39-P