Retire the Penny

Brought to you by Citizens to Retire the U.S. Penny

Retire the Penny is a commonsense, non-partisan coalition of individuals, businesses, and political leaders who understand that eliminating the penny from circulation could save the US government close to $85 million annually. The penny costs twice as much as to produce than it is worth. Like the 1/2 cent coin, the penny should retire with grace!


The Facts

The reasons to retire the penny are clear:

1.) It's not worth it!

In 2018, it cost twice as much to produce the penny than it is worth according to the US Mint. ( United States Mint Annual Report - 2018).

2.) It's a waste of time

According to Walgreens and the National Association of Convenience Stores, using pennies wastes 120 million hours of time per year in cash transactions with customers and retailers.

3.) No one pays with cash anymore

According to the 2018 Federal Reserve Payments Study, non-cash payments continue to grow at a faster rate, and cash withdrawals from ATMs continue to decline, showing a slowing need for cash (Federal Reserve Payments Study - 2018).

4.) Other countries have done it

The US would join a growing list of post-industrial countries that have eliminated the penny including Canada, Denmark, Australia, and Ireland.

5.) We do it there, why not here?

The United States Department of Defense discontinued use of the penny at all overseas military bases more than 30 years ago.

Take Action

President Trump, Secretary Steve Mnuchin, and Members of Congress must hear from you!

The more than $85 million in annual loses to oenny productioncould, and should be, allocated to other important and under-funded issues, like transportation infrastructure, education, and healthcare. Join the fight and stand with Retire the Penny by signing up below. This form will automatically tell those in the Trump adminstration how important this issue is to you!

Also, you may click here to find your local elected government officials and voice your concern.


Retire the penny coverage from digital media, print, television, and radio

Print and digital media

The Penny Stops Here

The Washington Post - September 25, 2006

7 Reasons to Get Rid of the Penny

The Saturday Evening Post - May 23, 2018

4 Reasons to Get Rid of the Penny

Money Talks News - July 28, 2011

Should the U.S. Retire the Penny and Nickel?

The Wall Street Journal - March 18, 2018

Easy to Lose and Expensive to Produce: Is the Penny Worth It?

The Wall Street Journal - September 19, 2014


Last Week Tonight with John Oiliver (HBO)

Pennies are not even worth what they're worth. So why do we still make them?

Critics Wonder Whether Pennies Make Sense Anymore (NPR)

Is it finally time to get rid of the penny? The question was put to the top currency official in the country this week after comedian John Oliver took a swing at pennies on his TV show.

Author John Green's brilliant anti-penny rant

John Green discusses his virulent hatred for pennies and nickels, two utterly irrelevant coins that inexplicably remain money in the United States of America.

60 Minutes examines the state of pennies, with an accompanying article featuring Jeff Gore

Should we make cents? Morley Safer on the bizarre economics of producing money.

Who is with us

Talk of eliminating the penny is nothing new, and we can only hope that the quest to make it happen is closer than ever to success. Most recently, some highly educated, well-known individuals have decried the stubborn perpetuation of the penny. From professors to politicians, Citizens to Retire the Penny is not alone in its desire to usher the penny into a long-overdue retirement.

Professor Robert Whaples

A professor of Economics at Wake Forest University, Whaples has long supported the elimination of the penny. He has done much research into the economic impacts of the penny and its cost to produce.

Professor Greg Mankiw

A presidential campaign advisor and professor of Economics at Harvard, Mankiw has advocated elimination of the penny. "When people start leaving a monetary unit at the cash register for the next customer, the unit is too small to be useful," said Mankiw. Check out his blog to read more on his thoughts in support of this movement.

John Green

This NY Times best-selling author has posted on his tumblr and youtube channel about his dislike of pennies. Watch his brilliant anti-penny rant.

Hon. Jim Kolbe (R-AZ)

The former Representative (R-AZ) sponsored the Legal Tender Modernization Act in 2002 and the Currency Overhaul for an Industrious Nation (COIN) Act in 2006, which would have phased out the penny by specifying that cash transactions be averaged to the nearest 5 cents. This rounding would be done such that it favors neither the customer nor the retailer. The proposed legislation would not have removed the penny from circulation, but would have provided a means for the penny to gradually fall out of use.

Countries all over the world

Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, Costa Rica, Hong Kong, Hungary, India, Israel, Mexico, Malaysia, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Papua New Guinea, Singapore, and Sweden have each eliminated the country's lowest currency coin.