WASHINGTON, D.C. (September 27, 2022) – U.S. Senators Deb Fischer (R-Neb.) and Mark Warner (D-VA.) today introduced the Savings Security Act. The legislation would help the American people protect their savings from changes in inflation by increasing the public’s ability to utilize I Bonds, a type of savings bond created by the U.S. Treasury Department. Series I Savings Bonds were created so consumers could invest their hard-earned savings in something that isn’t hurt by inflation, earns a reasonable rate of return, and is backed by the full faith and credit of the federal government.
“The American people are scrambling for ways to protect their earnings from rampant inflation. I Bonds are one option consumers should be able to leverage. Arbitrary purchasing caps on I Bonds, however, are shortchanging the public from better utilizing the program. Our bill would raise the annual purchasing cap to ensure working families can insulate a greater portion of their savings from the pain of sky-high inflation,” said Senator Fischer.
“We need to take an all-encompassing approach to help families facing high costs. In tandem with our inflation-fighting efforts, and intervention from the Federal Reserve, this legislation would allow Americans to better shield their finances from the unpredictability of inflation and offer peace of mind during difficult economic times,” said Senator Warner.
Currently, the Treasury Department caps annual purchases of I Bonds at $15,000 per person per year. The Savings Security Act would require the Treasury Secretary to raise the annual cap to $30,000 per person when the average six-month annual Consumer Price Index for all Urban Consumers (CPI-U) is above 3.5%. The new purchase limit only applies to families and individuals. Businesses and trusts would not be eligible for the increased cap.
Series I Bonds are a type of savings bond created by the U.S. Treasury. I Bonds earn monthly interest for 30 years, or until the saver cashes out of the bond.
I Bonds were created in 1998 during the Clinton Administration as a financial tool that families can utilize to protect their savings from the negative impacts of high inflation.
Currently, the Treasury Department caps annual purchases of I Bonds at $15,000 per person. That includes $10,000 per person per year in electric I Bonds, and an additional $5,000 per person per year in paper-issued I Bonds that are purchased through a federal income tax return. The Savings Security Act would require the Treasury Secretary to raise the annual cap to $30,000 per person when the CPI-U is above 3.5%. The Savings Security Act does not change the $5,000 per person paper I bond cap.
I-Bonds can only be purchased via Treasurydirect.gov or through your federal income tax return.
The annual inflation rate in the United States is 8.3%