WASHINGTON (6/21/10)--All federal benefits that are filed on or after March 1, 2011 will be paid electronically, the Treasury said last week. Those payments will be made via either direct deposit or the Direct Express Debit MasterCard card, the Treasury added. Individuals that are currently receiving their benefit payments via paper check will be asked to accept their benefits electronically by March of 2013. The change will save over $125 million annually, according to the Treasury. “Electronic payments are widely acknowledged as providing a safer, more convenient and cost-effective way for people to get their payments,” and the Treasury’s electronic initiative “will provide significant, measurable benefits to the American people, in terms of saving taxpayer dollars, decreasing the impact on the environment and reducing the administrative burden on government,” the Treasury added. The Treasury said that the proposal would have “no immediate impact” on its Go Direct campaign. The Treasury will accept comments on the proposal until August 18, and the Credit Union National Association (CUNA) will soon review the proposal with its payments and consumer protection subcommittees. CUNA will also discuss the proposal with the credit union councils. The Treasury began its Go Direct program, which encourages Americans to switch to direct deposit, in 2004. CUNA is a Go Direct national partner and supports the check-safety and cost-savings goals for the program. For the Treasury release and the proposal, as published in the Federal Register, use the resource link.