What Is Public Provident Fund (PPF)?
Public Provident Fund (PPF) is a tax-free saving scheme regulated by the Indian Government, it was first introduced under Public Provident Fund Act, 1968 (23 of 1968), by the Central Government of India under Finance Ministry’s National Savings Institute.
on 1st July 1968 the PPF Scheme came in to effect, under these scheme any individual may, on his own behalf or on behalf of a minor of whom he is the guardian, subscribe to the Public Provident Fund (PPF).
Since then it has surfaced as one of the powerful source to create long-term wealth for investors.
Although, last year due to the ongoing pandemic (Coronavirus) the rate of interest (ROI) on PPF has been reduced in the quarter March, FY20 to 7.1 moreover from 01 July, 2021 till 30 September 2021 it is been kept at same rate and is currently for year 2022 is at 7.1% p.a.
May be in the upcoming quarter of FY22-23 you may see it again in range of 7.5–8% or above which gets decided by the Government of India (GOI) every quarter.
An investor need to make a minimum investment of Rs. 500 annually. A maximum investment of Rs. 1.5 lakh can be made in one year in PPF account.
The PPF accounts do have an extension period in which your current balance after the completion of first 15 years is eligible for 5 more years of extension.
Another thing is you can keep the funds extended for 5 more years with or without further deposits i.e. you can let it be with the balance it has after the first 15 years of maturity or you can make further deposits during this 5 years period too.
However, keep in mind PPF has a lock-in period of 5 years with partial withdrawal facility.
Also the current rate of interest (ROI %) for extension period in PPF account is 8%. This may get updated in future when GOI will change it in next quarter or so.
You can check how much you will get if you make investments in Public Provident Fund (PPF) account on maturity using moneycontain PPF Calculator with extension here.
I have explained everything you need to know in great depth and detail about the PPF funds below.
How Much Will I Get By Investing In Public Provident Fund (PPF)?
Let us understand this through an example, suppose you invest Rs. 1,20,000 every year for 15 years at the current rate of interest i.e. 7.1 %p.a. than using the moneycontain PPF Calculator
Total Maturity Value for PPF = Rs.32,54,569
Total Invested Amount = Rs. 18 lakh
Total Wealth Gained = Rs. 14,54,569
Checkout the image below to know more:
Now let us see the results for PPF with Extension with and without deposits made in extension period of 5 years. Below are the results when I entered the Opening balance of Rs. 32,54,569 with no further deposits during the 5 year extended period. This is the same amount that we first received on 15 years maturity period.
Now, suppose if you want to make deposits as well than let us see the results in below images:
Let us, now know everything about Public Provident Fund (PPF) Scheme in depth step by step.
Advantage Of Investing In Public Provident Fund?
Here are some of the primary advantage of investing in public provident fund (PPF) scheme:
- Minimum and Maximum Investment: An investor need to make a minimum investment of Rs. 500 annually. A maximum investment of Rs. 1.5 lakh can be made in one year in PPF account.
- Very Low PPF Account Fee: You can open a PPF account with just Rs. 100 with any recognised, You can make deposits every month or in a lump sum through cash, cheque, DD or online transfer.
- Taxation: PPF scheme comes under the Exempt-Exempt-Exempt (EEE) category of tax policy which means that the principal amount, the maturity amount, as well as the interest earned is exempt from taxes. Investments in the Public Provident Fund are subject to tax deduction benefits up to the cumulative limit of Rs. 1.5 lakhs u/s 80C of the Income Tax Act, 1961.
- Loan against PPF: You can take a loan on your PPF account between the 3rd and 5th year and make partial withdrawals after the 7th year for emergencies.
- Better Interest Rates: The interest rates are backed and guaranteed by Government of India, moreover ROI is usually higher than most of the other schemes such as FD of many banks and saving accounts.
- Safe from government orders: The PPF account is immune from attachment from any order or decree of any court under the Government Savings Banks Act, 1873.
- Minor Account Eligibility: Parents or guardians can also open PPF accounts for their minor children.
- Extensions are Allowed: Investors can extend the tenure of their PPF investment beyond 15 years from the date of initial investment with a block of 5 years. One can do so with deposits or even without making any further contribution to the PPF account, the current rate of interest is 8% during extended period.
Apart from above benefits of a PPF scheme, another important factor which makes it worthwhile is the future security. For example, the balance in a PPF account cannot be attached to an investor’s liabilities in the event of insolvency.
Drawbacks Of Investing In Public Provident Fund?
Here are some of the primary drawbacks of investing in public provident fund (PPF) scheme:
- Lock-in period: A PPF account is a fixed-income, long term investment with a lock-in period of 15 years. Premature withdrawals are allowed but only in case of emergencies. This tenure can be extended by 5 years at the end of the actual lock-in period.
- Maximum Investment Cap: You can’t make more than Rs. 1,50,000 yearly investment in a PPF scheme throughout tenure as of now. Having said that, in extension period the investment can be made more than Rs.1.5 lakh p.a.
- NRIs are not eligible to open PPF accounts: However, a resident Indian who has become an NRI after opening an account can continue the account until maturity
- No Joint/Multiple Accounts: Opening of joint accounts and multiple accounts are not allowed under PPF scheme.
Hence, the are very limited drawbacks for PPF scheme, which makes them one of the greatest investment option for long-term. There are no monthly compulsion to make deposits in ppf account, one can Just do it once in a year of not less than Rs.500.
Who Can Open Public Provident Fund Account ?
Below are eligibility requirement if you want to open a PPF account in India:
- Only an Indian resident can only open a PPF account.
- NRIs are not eligible to open PPF accounts. However, a resident Indian who has become an NRI after opening an account can continue the account until maturity.
- Parents/guardians can also open PPF accounts for their minor children.
- Opening of joint accounts and multiple accounts are not allowed.
How To Open a Public Provident Fund Account ?
To open a PPF account one can visit the nearest bank branch or post office, there are many major private and government banks like SBI, PNB, Union bank, Central Bank, ICICI, Axis, IndusInd HDFC, Kotak Mahindra bank Etc.
If you are existing users of these banks than you can even open an account online or else you can visit and fill in the PPF account form by submitting minimum Rs.100.
On opening an ppf account, the depositor shall be given a passbook bearing the date of opening of account, the number of his account, his name and address and the amount deposited and also the monthly interest payable along with the date on which the deposit will be due for final payment, it will be issued to you just like a bank passbook.
The deposits can be made by either visiting bank or online too. One can also opt for monthly, yearly, half yearly, deduction directly from the bank account.
Is Public Provident Fund Account Can Be Opened Online ?
Yes, there are many private and government banks allows you to open an PPF Account online. To open a PPF account online, you should have an account with the bank you are going to open your PPF account.
Having said that, every bank may have a different options available online under different section, but the core process remains the same.
Checkout the given steps below to open PPF account online:
- First you need to log in to your net banking portal of your bank.
- Click in the option that allows you to ‘Open a PPF Account’.
- Choose the relevant option between a ‘self account’ and a ‘minor account’.
- Enter the required information such as nominee details, bank details, etc.
- Verify details like your Permanent Account Number (PAN), etc. that is shown on the screen.
- After verifying the details, enter the amount that you wish to deposit in your PPF account.
- You will be asked to set up standing instructions that enable the bank to deduct the amount at fixed intervals or in a lumpsum.
- After you make your choice, you will receive an OTP on your registered mobile number.
- Once this verification is done, your PPF account gets opened. You are advised to save the account number that is displayed on the screen for future reference.
Do keep in mind that certain banks may even ask you to submit the hard copy of the details entered along with the reference number and submit it to the respective bank with your KYC details.
Which Documents Needed To Open a PPF Account ?
Below are the documents required to open a PPF Account:
- KYC documents to verify the identity of the individual- Aadhaar Card, Voter ID card, or Driving License
- Proof of Address
- PAN Card
- Passport-size photograph of the individual
Does Partial Withdrawal Allowed In PPF Scheme?
Yes, You can make partial withdrawals in advance from your PPF Account balance before maturity period of 15 years. However, partial withdrawals can be made in emergency cases such as medical or educational purpose of children.
As per the PPF Scheme, partial withdrawals from the account can be made after the completion of the 5th Financial year from the year in which the account is opened.
For example, if the account was opened on 5 January, 2015, withdrawal can be made from the financial year 2020-21 onwards. Also, keep in mind that only one partial withdrawal is allowed per financial year.
You need to submit the Form C for making partial withdrawal from the PPF account. You can get this easily from the bank or post office where your PPF account is opened.
The maximum amount that can be withdrawn per financial year is the lower of the following:
- 50% of the account balance as at the end of the financial year, preceding the current year, or
- 50% of the account balance as at the end of the 6th financial year, preceding the current year.
How Public Provident Fund Extension Works?
One of the greatest advantage of PPF Scheme is the extension period allowed once the maturity period is over after 15 years. The extension earns the interest rate even more than the maturity period and can be done in block period of 5 years with or without any further contributions made.
Moreover, the extension can be done as along as you want in period of 5 years, also the partial withdrawals are allowed during the same. Let us know the different scenario under the extension period for PPF.
Below are the three options available to investors at the end of the maturity period.
1st option: Close PPF account and withdraw full amount:
Once the PPF account matures after 15 financial years from the end of the year, in which it was opened you can choose to close it and withdraw the entire corpus.
For example, Let’s say that you opened a PPF account in May 2020. The year of opening is considered as 31st March 2021 (the end of the fiscal year, in which the account was opened). Now calculating 15 years from 2021, the PPF account matures on 1st April 2036.
Now, once you close the PPF account with your respective bank or post office where it was held. the entire proceeds, including principal and interest, are credited into your linked bank account.
If you do not close the PPF account within one year of maturity, then the account will be extended for the next five years without further contributions by default.
2nd Option: Extending PPF account without making any fresh contributions:
If you do not want to close the PPF account even after the 15 years of maturity period is over, You have the option to retain it without making any new contributions in account. In this option, the amount in the account will continue earning interests until the day you close it.
As mentioned above, extensions are allowed indefinitely, in five-year blocks and there is no limit on the number of times you can extend the account.
However, keep in mind that you cannot make any more contributions to your account once you choose this option, even if you desire.
Moreover, You are allowed to make one withdrawal once every financial year. There is no limit on the amount you can withdraw.
The remaining balance in the account continues to earn interest. Having said that, do note that only 1 (one) withdrawal is allowed every fiscal year.
3rd Option: Extending PPF account with fresh contributions:
The third and last options is to make a PPF account extended with making further deposits after maturity. However, to avail of this option, you have to submit Form H to the post office (or bank) within one year from the date of maturity.
If you do not submit the Form H, but continue to make contributions to the PPF account, all deposits made after maturity are considered irregular. These deposits do not earn any interest and are not eligible for tax deductions under Section 80C of the ITA.
Also, keep in mind that If you have opted for an extension with a contribution, you are allowed only one partial withdrawal during the entire extension period of 5 years.
The withdrawal limit must not exceed 60% of the total amount in your account at the beginning of the extension period. You can withdraw this amount in one instalment or in several instalments spread over five years.
Shall I extend my PPF Or Not?
Extend or not to extend the PPF accounts completely depends upon you needs. You can opt to extend the account if you do not have an immediate need for funds at the time of maturity. By doing so, the amount in the account continues to earn interest for the next five years.
Another point is, If your retirement age is far away, it’s better to extend the account. For example, Let’s say you opened a PPF account at the age of 25, It gets matured when you are 40.
You can continue extending it 3 or 4 times so that the proceeds benefit you when you retire at the age of 55 or 60.
Remember to submit Form H to renew the account with contributions. This way, you can continue building your corpus while enjoying more tax benefits as well.
Is Loan Against PPF Allowed?
Yes, you can take a loan against the PPF accounts, it is available from a 3rd financial year up to 6th financial year from the date of opening the account.
Moreover, the maximum tenure of such a loan is 36 months and a second loan can be obtained only after the closure of the first loan.
To avail the loan against PPF account Form D must be submitted in your ban or post office where account is held. The form requires details such as account number, the amount being borrowed, etc. along with the undertaking that the amount will be repaid with interest within three years.
Keep in mind that, the maximum amount of loan that can be availed against PPF accounts is 25% of the balance at the end of the 2nd financial year preceding the year in which the loan was applied for.
What Interest Rate Do I Have To Pay For Taking Loan Against PPF?
The interest rate payable on loans taken against PPF accounts is 2% higher than the prevailing interest rate. For example, if the prevailing interest rate is 8%, then interest payable on loan taken on such account would be 10%. Before Nov 30, 2011, this rate was 1% higher than the prevailing interest rate.
Hence, in case of loans taken before the said date, the interest charged would be 1% above the prevailing rate
The interest is not paid with the principal amount in EMIs Once the principal amount is fully repaid the interest has to be repaid within 2 months.
In case the loan is not repaid within 36 months, interest at 6% more than the prevailing interest rate of PPF account is charged. Therefore it is better to pay the loan taken against the PPF on scheduled time.
Can I Close My PPF Account Before Maturity?
No, Premature closure of PPF accounts is not permitted within 5 years of opening the account. In 2016, the Government amended the PPF scheme and propagated some positive changes regarding the withdrawal of balance from the account. You can now withdraw the whole amount and close your account after 5-years.
Having said that, it can only be closed on specific scenarios such as any life threatening ailments or diseases affecting the account holder, spouse, dependent children or parents or children higher education.
However, supporting medical documents have to be produced to support a claim on these grounds.
Also, note that their is a penalty levied in the form of a 1% reduction in the interest applicable for the period for which the account is held.
For example, if you have earned interest of 8% per annum for five years on the PPF account, the interest for each year will be reduced to 7%.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ):
Is It Possible To Invest more than 1.5 lakh in PPF?
1.5 lakh is the maximum amount you can invest in a financial year in PPF accounts, even if you invest more than 1.5 lakh you won’t get any interest or tax benefit on the excess amount.
This happens because, according to Section 80 C, the total tax deduction per financial year is 1.5 lakh only.
Can I Open More Than 1 PPF account?
No, one person cannot have more than 1 account, However, a family is eligible to have multiple, a parent or guardian of the family can have individual accounts of their own and one of them can also open an account for a minor child (if they have any).
Does Senior Citizens Allowed To Open PPF Account?
Yes, even if you are a senior citizen you can still open a PPF account. There is no maximum age limit set for the PPF account opening.
What happens to my PPF account If I Fail To Make Deposit?
If you fail to deposit the minimum amount into a PPF account in a financial year, your account will become inactive. However, an inactive account can be activated again after paying the penalty amount.
You need to pay a fine of Rs. 50 for each year the account has been inactive. Along with this you need to pay Arrears of minimum amount of Rs.500 for all the years the account has been inactive.
Is PPF a tax free Scheme?
Yes, the principal amount, the interest earned and the maturity amount for up to Rs.1.5 lakh contribution per year is tax free.
Can I withdraw the full amount after 15 years From PPF?
Yes, you can withdraw the entire amount invested as deposits and the interest earned after the expiry of the locking period i.e. 15 years
Which bank is best for opening a PPF Account In India?
The rate of interest and other facility related to PPF is the same across all the banks. Therefore, there is nothing called best bank for PPF account.
Having said that, the facility and customer service provided by banks may differ. Many banks provide online service which is easy to use, apply, make deposits, avail loans and withdraw.
Can I extend PPF account without making any new contributions?
If you wish to extend your PPF account without any new contributions, you don’t have to do anything. This is the default choice, and your account goes into this mode when you don’t withdraw the funds within one year of maturity.
Can I extend PPF account with more new contributions?
You have to submit Form H to the post office (or bank) where the account is held within one year of maturity. The Form H expresses your intent to extend the account with contributions for a block of five years.
How many time can I extend My PPF?
You can keep on extending your account for a block of five years. There is no limit on the number of times you can extend.
How much Will I Get From PPF after 15 years?
It depends upon your investment amount, for example suppose you make a Rs.1 lakh deposit in PPF account yearly for 15 years with average returns of 8% p.a during the entire tenure as the returns get changed every quarter.
You will be getting Rs. ₹2,932,429.41 at the end of maturity.
To know the expected amount after 15 years in advance, use the moneycontain PPF calculator, just enter the amount deposited, period and the wealth gain will be calculated.
PPF Vs LIC?
PPF and LIC are two different investments options and suits different needs. One simply can’t Compare the two investments as LIC policies serve the purpose of insurance which you can take against risks, a PPF on other hand serves the purpose of savings.
Having said that, PPF returns are much better than that of LIC in most cases.
PPF Vs FD?
Fixed deposits are made for fixed time period which ranges anywhere between 7 days to 10 years usually. In comparison to an FD, PPF has a longer lock-in period of 15 years. Also, PPFs allow premature withdrawals only after the 5th year. Additionally, there is a withdrawal limit.
Investors can avail loan against their PPF investments from the third year. While in the case of an FD, the bank provides an overdraft facility up to 90% of the deposit amount.
Both PPF and FD investments can be claimed for tax deductions. Under section 80C of the Income Tax Act, investors can claim deduction up to INR 1,50,000 per annum.
For long term investments, PPF is much better with guaranteed returns. On the other hand, FD is suitable for investors looking at short term investments. The returns in FD may be less than PPF usually, also depends on banks.
Post office monthly scheme (POMIS) Vs PPF?
Post Office Monthly Income Scheme POMIS is a government-promoted savings scheme offered by the Department of Post (DoP) or Indian Post. POMIS gives investors monthly returns in the form of interest payments.
At present post office monthly income scheme interest rate are at 6.6% From 01.04.2020, prior to that it was ranging in between 7.3% to 7.6%.
Usually the scheme’s interest rates are announced every quarter and is fixed and changed by the Central Government and Finance Ministry every quarter depending on the returns yielded by Government bonds of the same tenure.
Post office monthly income scheme popularly known as MIS (Monthly Income Scheme) offers individual common investors an opportunity to make a one time investment and get monthly fixed returns as an income. POMIS is best suitable for those investors who are seeking fixed monthly income.
On the other hand PPF is a saving cum investment and the return are little higher, moreover MIS plan doesn’t come under the Section 80C of the Income Tax and it is subject to taxation.
PPF Vs NPS (National pension scheme)?
PPF is better than NPS when you talk about taxation benefits, however NPS have higher returns in comparison to PPF. Having said that the returns are not guaranteed in NPS as it is depend on market fluctuation .
There is no age limit for PPF whereas NPS does have a age limit.
PPF lock in period is 15 years, on the hand NPS is locked till you reach 60 years. Overall, if you are someone who is risk taker you can go with NPS otherwise stick with PPF.
If you are someone who is looking for making a long term investment plan for you or your family than Public Provident Fund (PPF) schemes are best, without worrying about the ups and down of stock market related schemes, PPF is the best choice.
It’s backed by government and have assured returns which makes it even more secure.
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Note: Please do not take this as any recommendation, to trade or invest. This is just for reference, to make you understand more about Public Provident Fund and its importance, under no circumstances intended to be used or considered as financial or investment advice, a recommendation or an offer to sell, or a solicitation of any offer to buy any securities or other form of financial asset.
Please do your own research and make investment. Moneycontain will not be responsible for any of your losses at all. The point made is for educational purpose only. All investments are subject to risks, which should be considered prior to making any investments.