The purpose of this study is to advance understanding of surface degradation kinetics for Fe–Mn bioresorbable alloys (specifically Fe–20%Mn) and target degradable fracture fixation implants for hard tissues. This study addresses how arc melted Fe–20%Mn discs degrade in a static, osteogenic medium for up to a 3 month time span. Degradation behavior of these bulk alloys was investigated using both mass loss tests for measuring long-term corrosion rates and potentiostatic tests for following the instantaneous rate of degradation. It was discovered that cold-rolling Fe–20%Mn to 77% cold work (CW) suppressed the instantaneous corrosion rate compared with the cast structure. It was also found that an unstable iron-rich oxide layer forms on the entire surface of these bulk samples and the act of machining the bulk metal into a defined shape may affect the morphology of the oxide layer on the outer edge of the samples during degradation. The mechanisms behind the surface evolution of these potential orthopedic implants are investigated in detail. © 2014 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J Biomed Mater Res Part A: 103A: 185–193, 2015.