About $26 billion in matured savings bonds are in the U.S. Treasury and have yet to be redeemed. Using the department's forthcoming tool, people will be able to verify against Treasury Department records if they have any savings bonds dated after 1974 that can be redeemed, Kennedy's office said in a news release.
The Treasury Department will share links to the tool with states, so that states can promote it through their unclaimed property programs. The department will consult with experts and states about how to digitize older savings bonds that date back to World War II, Kennedy's office said.
“This money belongs in the hands of the American people," Kennedy said. "It shouldn’t be under lock and key at Treasury. Grandmothers purchased these bonds for grandchildren. Great aunts and great uncles bought bonds to support the war effort.”
Kennedy, a former state treasurer who is chairman of the Senate Appropriations subcommittee on financial services and general government, has made helping people redeem savings bonds a key priority.
Last month, the Appropriations Committee advanced legislation that would provide funding for digitizing the bond records.
Additionally, Kennedy has introduced legislation that would allow states to put the names and addresses for savings bonds in their unclaimed property databases.