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DoD Kicks-Off Annual Savings Bonds Campaign

By Gerry J. Gilmore
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Aug. 17, 2001 – U.S. Savings Bonds coordinators and canvassers from Office of the Secretary of Defense organizations picked up information and literature at an Aug. 17 kickoff ceremony at the Pentagon.

After the kickoff, OSD Savings Bonds campaign Vice-Chairman Richard McGraw remarked that service members and DoD civilians should consider the purchase of savings bonds as money well invested.

"Savings bonds never decrease in value. They are not subject to the vagaries of the stock market, they always go up and they go up more than inflation," said McGraw, who is also the principal deputy assistant secretary of defense for public affairs.

Troops and defense department civilians should find it convenient to purchase bonds, since "you can pay for them through payroll deduction," McGraw said.

Although purchasers of bonds aren't "going to make double- digit earnings," he said, savings bonds are "guaranteed by the backing of the United States government" and are "good, solid, sound investments."

The "I" bond, which currently earns 5.92 percent interest, has been out for three years and is indexed to the rate of inflation, said Mack Stamper, the Treasury Department's liaison to DoD for the savings bond campaign.

Stamper said the 'I' bond is purchased at face value and "was developed to give Americans a tool to save their money and not have their savings eaten up by inflation." Series "EE" bonds currently earn 4.5 percent interest and are purchased at one-half face value.

Bonds available through payroll deduction include $50, $75, $100, $200, $500 and $1,000 denominations, Stamper said.

"There are also $5,000 and $10,000 denominations available," he added, but not through payroll deduction.

Thelma Jones, DoD Savings Bond campaign program manager, noted that the campaign, which normally starts April 1 and ends June 30, was extended to Sept. 7 because of the change in administrations.

Jones remarked that savings bonds are a good deal, especially for small investors who want to reduce risk.

"Savings bonds are safe and secure, you don't have to worry about losing money on them," she said. "If they are ever lost or stolen they are replaced free-of-charge and reissued with the original issue date."

Buying bonds is "a good way to establish a systematic savings account," Jones said. McGraw added that purchasing savings bonds helps soldiers, sailors, Marines, airmen and DoD civilians augment their retirement nest eggs.

"I think it is a wonderful avenue to supplement your IRA, or your government or military retirement plan," he concluded.

Defense department employees can purchase savings bonds year-round. For more information see www.savingsbonds.gov.

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