BOSTON Replacing $1 bills with coins of the same amount could save the federal government $5.5 billion over the next 30 years, officials said on Friday.
Analysis by the U.S. Government Accountability Office showed the savings would come from replacing bills with more durable coins.
The report was not the first time the GAO has recommended the money swap, but the agency said past efforts to buoy support for the $1 coin have been hindered in part because the $1 bills have remained in circulation.
Other countries such as the United Kingdom and Canada that use a coin advised the GAO to pull the bills from circulation to hasten public acceptance.
The GAO said a change to coins from dollar bills would present some upfront costs and assumed a four-year transition period.
Private companies also said altering current equipment to take and store the proposed $1 coin would be an expense, the GAO said.
(Reporting by Lauren Keiper; Editing by Ellen Wulfhorst and Jerry Norton)