Savings bonds have a final maturity date when they stop earning interest. Government created savings bonds to encourage individuals to participate in government finance. Department of the treasury issues savings bonds, which are federal government debt instruments. Use the tables below to determine whether your savings bonds have stopped earning interest. You should keep a list of your bonds, by serial number, in a safe location and separate from the actual bonds. To learn whether a savings bond on your list has been cashed, contact treasury retail securities services p. The maturity date on a bond tells you when the both is worth at least the principal. Dear suzanne, series ee savings bonds issued in the 1980s and early 1990s have an original maturity of 20 years, and an extended maturity of 10 years, for a total of 30 years until the final. Electronic series ee savings bonds, purchased via treasurydirect, are sold at face value. Paper ee bonds, last sold in 2011, were sold at half of face value. Redeeming the bonds at a local bank is usually the easier option call first to confirm that they do indeed handle savings bonds, and ask what identification or other documents you need to bring. A series ee savings bond continues to earn interest for up to 30 years if it is not redeemed. Even after a bond reaches its face amount at the 20 year point, interest is still credited to the value. Savings bonds older than 30 years should be redeemed as they are no longer earning interest. Many baby boomers and retirees prefer to invest in savings bonds because theyre safe, practical investments, but bonds dont earn interest forever. They eventually mature, and the internal revenue service requires that you pay income tax on the interest theyve earned. The irs expects you to report savings bond interest no later than the year in which the bond matures even if you dont redeem it. Not doing so can result in a tax penalty that will continue to grow as time passes if you dont cash in the bond and report the income earned on it.