This week the Treasury Department announced that it plans to stop issuing paper checks for federal retirement benefits.  Beginning March 1, 2011 for new beneficiaries and on March 1, 2013 for existing participants, Treasury will no longer issue paper checks for recipients of Social Security, civil service retirement, and veterans benefits.  Treasury expects the move to save $300 million and 12 million pounds of paper in the first five years and will increase benefit payments reliability and security.  In another move, Treasury will end the option to buy paper U.S savings bonds through payroll sales for federal employees beginning on September 30, 2010 and for the private sector by January, 1, 2011.  Individuals will still be able to purchase paper bonds at financial institutions.  Treasury expects ending payroll sales of paper savings bonds to save $50 million over the next five years.  The announcement of these policy changes, which according to Treasury will also have a significant positive environmental impact, came in conjunction with the 40th anniversary of Earth Day.