What Is Redemption Bond? Definition, How It Works, Types, and Examples


Redemption in finance encompasses various scenarios, from the repayment of fixed-income securities like bonds to the redemption of coupons and gift cards for consumer products or services. This article delves into the different aspects of redemption, including how it works in finance, the taxation implications, and the types of redemptions you may encounter. Whether you’re an investor looking to understand bond redemption or a savvy shopper using coupons, this guide has you covered.

What is redemption?

In the realm of finance and business, the term redemption assumes various meanings depending on the context. In the financial domain, redemption primarily refers to the repayment of a fixed-income security either on or before its maturity date. Common examples of fixed-income securities subject to redemption include bonds, certificates of deposit (CDs), Treasury notes (T-notes), and preferred shares.

Another application of redemption can be observed in the context of coupons and gift cards, which consumers can redeem for products and services.

Understanding redemptions

Investors who engage in fixed-income securities, such as bonds, receive regular fixed interest payments. Bonds can be redeemed before or on their maturity date. When redeemed at maturity, the investor receives the par value (also known as the face value) of the bond, which is the original amount the bond issuer agrees to repay to the bondholder.

Additionally, callable bonds, also known as redeemable bonds, offer the issuer the option to redeem the bond before its stipulated maturity date. The redemption value represents the price at which the issuer repurchases the bond from investors before maturity. Issuers may choose to call bonds when market interest rates decline.

Mutual funds are another investment avenue that investors can redeem. To initiate a mutual fund redemption, investors need to notify their fund manager of their intent. The manager must process the request within a specified timeframe and distribute the funds to the investor. The amount payable to the investor typically equates to the current market value of their shares, with deductions for applicable fees and charges.

Redemption is also a common occurrence in our daily lives as consumers. For instance, the use of a coupon or gift card constitutes a form of redemption, where the value of the coupon or card is exchanged for a product or service.

Capital gains and losses on redemptions

Redeeming an investment can trigger capital gains or losses, both of which are subject to recognition on fixed-income investments and mutual fund shares. The taxation of capital gains can be offset by capital losses recognized in the same fiscal year.

To calculate the capital gain or loss upon redemption, investors must be aware of the cost basis, which represents the original purchase price or value of the asset. Bonds, for instance, can be acquired at a price different from their par or face value.

For example, if an investor purchases a $1,000 par value corporate bond at a discounted price of $900 and redeems it at maturity for $1,000, they realize a $100 capital gain for the year. This gain can be offset by any capital losses the investor may have incurred during the same year. Conversely, if the investor buys another $1,000 par value corporate bond for $1,050 and redeems it for $1,000 at maturity, they incur a $50 capital loss, which reduces the taxable capital gain to $50.

Types of redemptions

The majority of redemptions involve cash transactions. When a mutual fund investor requests redemption, the fund management company typically issues a check for the shares at their market value. However, there are scenarios where redemptions may be made in-kind.

In-kind redemptions

In-kind redemptions involve non-monetary payments made for securities or other financial instruments. While not commonly used in the mutual fund industry, in-kind redemptions are prevalent in exchange-traded funds (ETFs). Fund managers may opt for in-kind redemptions to minimize the impact on long-term investors. Instead of disbursing cash to investors seeking to exit a fund, they offer positions in other securities on a pro-rata basis.

ETFs are generally considered more tax-friendly compared to mutual funds. By issuing shares in-kind, ETFs avoid selling securities to raise cash for redemption payouts. This eliminates the need for capital gains distributions, thereby reducing the investor’s tax liability.

Mutual fund redemptions

Redeeming mutual fund shares from a mutual fund company must be completed within seven days of receiving a redemption request from the investor. Since mutual funds are priced only once per day, investors intending to redeem their funds must place their orders before the market’s close or the specified time set by the mutual fund.

Money redeemed is typically based on the fund’s net asset value (NAV) for that day, calculated as the sum of the fund’s assets minus its liabilities. After the sale is finalized, clients usually receive their funds, including any gains, via check or direct deposit to their bank accounts.

Some mutual funds may impose redemption fees, often in the form of a back-end load. This back-end load, which is a sales charge expressed as a percentage of the fund’s value, decreases over time. Investors who hold fund shares for an extended period incur smaller back-end loads when redeeming their shares.

Investments in mutual funds are designed for individuals who intend to buy and hold fund shares for the long term. Selling fund shares shortly after purchase results in higher costs for the investor, including sales charges and annual fees for professional portfolio management, accounting, and legal expenses.

Frequently asked questions

What is the par value of a bond?

The par value of a bond, also known as face value, is the original amount of money the bond issuer agrees to repay to the bondholder when the bond matures.

Why do issuers call bonds before maturity?

Issuers may choose to call bonds before their maturity date, particularly when market interest rates decrease, allowing them to pay off their debt early and potentially refinance it at a lower rate.

How are capital gains and losses calculated on redemptions?

Capital gains and losses on redemptions are calculated by considering the cost basis, which is the original purchase price of the asset. Gains and losses are recognized when the redemption value differs from the cost basis.

Key takeaways

  • Redemption in finance involves repaying fixed-income securities, such as bonds, on or before their maturity date.
  • Callable bonds offer issuers the option to redeem bonds before maturity.
  • Mutual fund redemptions require investors to inform their fund manager, with funds disbursed at market value.
  • Redemption of coupons and gift cards is a common consumer practice.
  • Redemptions may result in capital gains or losses, with tax implications.
  • In-kind redemptions are non-monetary payments for securities, common in ETFs.
  • Mutual fund redemptions occur within seven days of the investor’s request and are based on the fund’s NAV.
View article sources
  1. Notice of Redemption of Bonds – The Research and Creative Activity Database of WKU
  2. 31 CFR § 351.32 – How are redemption values calculated for Series EE bonds with issue dates of May 1, 1997, through April 1, 2005? – Cornell Law School
  3. How does ETF redemption work, and what are economic impacts? – Duke Financial Economics Center
  4. What are Bearer Bonds and How Do They Work? – SuperMoney