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DALLAS - The U.S. Department of the Treasury has announced that paper checks will be a thing of the past in a little less than two years.

To save money, the federal government will go paperless, phasing out paper checks by 2013 for those receiving Social Security, Supplemental Security Income, veterans, railroad retirement and federal civil servant retirement benefits.

Those receiving monthly government checks will get their federal benefit payments deposited electronically starting March of 2013. The system will kick in immediately for those signing up for benefits starting March of 2011. Currently, 85 percent enrolled to receive such benefits are already receiving their payments electronically.

By going paperless, the government says taxpayers will save about $300 million in the first five years. By not sending out the 136 million checks, the federal government will immediately save $48 million in postage.

For those not comfortable handing over their bank account information to the government or those without a bank account, deposits from the U.S. Treasury can go to a Direct Express Debit MasterCard.

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