Savings bonds' attractive rate helps push Md. sales up 36.6% Purchases nationwide rise 48% over fiscal 1992

December 26, 1992|By Ross Hetrick | Ross Hetrick,Staff Writer

On Page 15C of Saturday's Business section, incorrect column headings were placed above a table of redemption values for Series E savings bonds for the years 1941-1960. The figures in the table were correct, so if you place today's headings over those published Saturday on page 15C, you can find the right information for bonds issued in the years 1941-1960.

Maryland investors enticed by a 6 percent interest rate boosted sales of U.S. Savings Bonds in the state by 36.6 percent during the 12 months that ended Sept. 30.

JTC About $390.5 million worth of savings bonds were sold to state residents, up from the $247.5 million during the previous federal fiscal year. For the nation, savings bond sales jumped 48.5 percent, to $13.6 billion, from $9.2 billion for the previous year.

FOR THE RECORD - CORRECTION

The number of Marylanders buying savings bonds through payroll deductions increased by about 4.3 percent, to 330,668 during the 1992 federal fiscal year, from 316,896 the previous year.

Once considered rather dowdy investments, savings bonds have taken on a new luster as rates paid by other saving instruments, such as certificates of deposit, have sunk to around 3 percent. The Treasury Department has maintained the 6 percent rate for savings bonds held for more than five years. And there "is no indication whatsoever" that the rate is going to change, said Carl S. Lee, area director for Baltimore for U.S. Savings Bonds.

Since 1982, the interest rate has been linked to rates paid on other government securities. In addition, the interest is exempt from federal taxes if the investor uses the cash from the redeemed bonds to pay tuition to college or a qualified technical school. Certain income qualifications also must be met.

Interest paid by savings bonds is exempt from state and local taxes. Federal taxes on bonds not used to pay tuition can be deferred until they are redeemed.

The tables of redemption values published today show how much bonds purchased in a given month and year are worth if they are redeemed in January.

The values for savings notes, also known as "Freedom Shares," which were issued from 1967 through 1970, appear here. The redemption values for Series EE and Series E bonds dating back to 1941 appear inside today's Business section.

Redemption information is also available at banks and by calling (410) 962-2800.

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