WASHINGTON (3/5/12)--U.S. Treasurer Rosie Rios began the official countdown to March 1, 2013, the date by which all federal benefit recipients must receive their Social Security and other federal benefit payments electronically through direct deposit, by starting a "countdown clock" last Thursday.
The U.S. Treasury Department in a release said about 90% of Social Security and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) payments are being made electronically at the moment, and Rios said the Treasury is "urging the remaining 10% of federal benefit recipients who still receive a paper check to make the switch to electronic payments as soon as possible."
The Treasury officially ended the use of paper checks for the payment of newly filed Social Security and other federal benefit payments on May 1, 2011.
Rios said the switch to electronic payments "is a win-win" for benefit recipients and taxpayers, and would save $1 billion over ten years. "The sooner everyone makes the switch, the sooner we'll realize those benefits," she added.
The Treasury is also promoting the benefits of direct deposit through the Go Direct program. The Treasury included an insert on the Go Direct program in its March social security checks, and Go Direct has also released sample news copy, fliers and posters for financial institutions and community organizations to inform citizens of the benefits of switching to direct deposit.
The Credit Union National Association is a Go Direct national partner and supports the check-safety and cost-savings goals for the program.
Credit Union Magazine has also advised readers on how best to prepare their members for the coming change.
For more information on the Go Direct program and the Credit Union Magazine article, use the resource links.