Community News

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Is a penny saved still a penny earned?

When the Harper government announced earlier this year that it was phasing out the penny, it raised the question of what Canadians should do with all those pennies they have in jars and drawers.
Earlier this summer Finance Minister Jim Flaherty announced that the Royal Canadian Mint will officially no longer circulate pennies as of February 13, 2013. The government is eliminating the penny due to rising cost of producing the coin and the handling costs it imposes on retailers, financial institutions and the economy in general. It’s been estimated that eliminating the penny will save taxpayers $11 million a year.
For those sitting on a pile of saved pennies, it will retain its value indefinitely and can continue to be used in payments, although cash transactions will soon be rounded to the nearest five-cent increment. Electronic transactions, such as those with credit and debit cards, as well as cheques, will not need to be rounded.
The government says the February 13, 2013 transition date will allow businesses to train staff and will also allow charities to hold dedicated ‘penny drive’ campaigns.

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