Are You Eligible to Open a PPF Account? Learn About it Here!

How to open a PPF account

PPF is one of the best ways to build a retirement corpus while getting tax benefits and more. The lock-in period of a PPF account is 15 years, in which partial withdrawals are allowed but only after the completion of 6 years. Premature closure of a PPF account is also allowed under circumstances like for educational or healthcare needs.

A PPF account can be opened by anyone who does not fall under the Employee Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO). The scheme builds the savings habit of an individual and is essentially made to let people get a source of income during the post-retirement period.

In this blog, we will understand a few basic things about PPF and the eligibility criteria.

What is a Public Provident Fund?

PPF or Public Provident Fund is a scheme specially made for individuals to help them save a part of their income annually, in order to build post-retirement savings or retirement corpus. The amount deposited into the PPF scheme makes an individual eligible to receive interest on the principal amount with tax-saving benefits. PPF was introduced to encourage those individuals who don’t fall under the Employee Provident Fund Organization (EPFO) to save and build a retirement corpus. A tax benefit of up to Rs. 1.5 lakh under Section 80C of the Income Tax Act can be availed through the PPF scheme.

What are the benefits of a PPF account?

Following are the benefits an individual can avail from a PPF account-

  • The interest on PPF balance is compounded on a yearly basis
  • PPF account offers a tax deduction of up to Rs. 1.5 lakh
  • PPF lock-in period is 15 years, which makes it a good option to save a good amount of money for a longer period of time
  • Loans can be availed from the PPF account
  • The minimum amount to deposit in a PPF account is Rs. 500 only
  • PPF tenure can be extended in the block of 5 years
  • Partial withdrawal is allowed after the completion of the 6th financial year

What are the Limitations of the PPF Account?

There are still a few limitations related to the PPF account given below-

  • PPF account comes with a lock-in period of 15 years, which becomes a hindrance in case one wants to withdraw some amount for emergency or to meet financial requirements
  • There are certain rules that are required to be followed to partially withdraw the amount from the PPF account
  • PPF account cannot be jointly held
  • The maximum amount an individual can contribute to the PPF account is Rs. 1.5 lakh only
  • Only Indian citizens can open a PPF account, NRIs cannot open a PPF account
  • One cannot close a PPF account within 5 years of opening the account
  • PPF account can only be closed in case of life-threatening ailments that are affecting the account holder, his/her spouse, or children
  • To close the PPF account, supporting documents are required to support life-threatening ailments

How to open a Public Provident Fund account?

There are two ways to open a PPF account- Online and Offline

  1. Open PPF account offline
  • Visit your respective bank
  • Connect with the banking personnel to open a PPF account
  • Fill the form, submit the required documents and the desired amount to deposit
  • Upon verification, the PPF account will be opened

Note

Banks are the only medium through which an individual can open a PPF account; however, the amount will still go to the government and not to the particular bank

  1. Open PPF account online

There are banks that offer the opportunity to open a PPF account online through their net banking facility. Following are the steps to open a PPF account; however, these steps might vary from one bank to another-

  • Log in to the respective bank’s internet banking portal
  • Navigate to the option to open a PPF account
  • Choose any of the options accordingly- self account or minor account
  • Enter all the required details
  • Enter the amount you wish to deposit
  • Read the instructions that state whether the bank should deduct the amount at fixed intervals or lumpsum
  • Get the OTP to complete the verification process
  • Once the verification gets done, the PPF account will be opened
  • Save the account number which is displayed on the screen for future reference

Note

Some banks require the individuals to submit the hard copies of all the entered details along with the reference number and documents for KYC details

How to open a minor PPF account?

Parents/guardians can open a PPF account on behalf of their child’ however, the process to open the account varies a little as compared to opening a regular PPF account-

  • Parents can open a PPF account on behalf of their child
  • Both the parents cannot open separate PPF accounts for the same child
  • Only one account can be opened for the same child
  • Grandparents cannot open a PPF account on behalf of their grandchildren when the parents of the minor are still alive
  • A minor’s birth certificate is required to open a PPF account

List of forms associated with PPF scheme

Following are the forms that are required to be used when opening a PPF account or to avail its related services-

FormsMeaning
Form ATo open a PPF account
Form BTo make a deposit into the account or to make repayment of the loan
Form CTo obtain the partial withdrawal
Form DTo request a loan
Form EFor making a nominee
Form FFor making changes to the account details
Form GTo claim funds in the account either by a legal heir or nominee
Form HFor extending the tenure of the account

What is the eligibility criteria to open a PPF account?

Below is the eligibility criteria to open a PPF account-

Eligibility criteria to open PPF account
Only Indian resident
An Indian citizen settled abroad can continue operating his/her PPF account
Parents/guardians on behalf of their minor children
Only one PPF account per individual can be opened
Hindu Undivided Families cannot open PPF account

Documents required to open PPF account

Following is the list of documents that are required to be submitted to open a PPF account-

Documents to open PPF account
PPF account opening form
ID proof, PAN card, Driving license, Passport, Voter ID card, Aadhaar card
Address proof, Electricity bill, Telephone bill, Aadhaar card, Ration card
Passport size photographs
Pay-in-slip at the bank branch to transfer the amount to the PPF account or a signed cheque
Birth certificate to open minor PPF account
Note
  • To open a PPF account offline, it is required to carry self-attested and original documents
  • The procedure to open a PPF account online might vary, however, the basic documentation and submission of the application remains the same

How to check the PPF balance online?

Below is how to easily check PPF balance online by following the given guidelines-

  • Link your existing bank account with the PPF account
  • Net banking facility should be activated to check PPF balance online
  • Next, log in to the bank’s net banking portal
  • Locate a section to check PPF balance and status

Note

  • The process to check PPF balance might vary from one bank to another bank online
  • It is advised to get the net banking facility activated
  • Link the existing bank account with the PPF bank account to perform various bank related transactions

How to check PPF balance offline?

Another way to check the balance offline is to follow the given instructions-

  • Visit the respective bank’s branch through which you have opened your PPF account
  • Get the PPF passbook updated by connecting the banking personnel
  • The PPF passbook will provide an overview complete details of the transactions, current PPF balance, etc

Note

  • When you choose to open a PPF account with the bank, the bank provides a passbook. The passbook contains all the details like PPF account number, bank branch details, account balance, details of the transactions, etc

How to check PPF balance through the Post office?

Situations, where people have limited access to banking facilities, can opt for the post office to get their PPF balance check. Following are the steps to get the PPF balance checked through the post office-

  • Upon opening a PPF account with the post office, you will be given a passbook
  • Get the passbook updated at regular intervals to check PPF balance
  • The passbook carries all the PPF related details like PPF account number, number of transactions, total balance, etc.

How to withdraw money from a PPF account?

The amount to withdraw money partially from a PPF account can only take place after the completion of 6 financial years from the date of opening the account. In case of partial or complete withdrawal of money, following are the steps to be followed carefully-

  • Fill the Form C
  • Enter all the required details in the form like PPF account number, amount to be withdrawn, the total number of financial years completed
  • Submit the form along with the PPF passbook
  • The bank will further check all the details written on the form along with the eligibility of the account holder for PPF amount withdrawal
  • Upon completion of the above-mentioned process, the amount will be credited to the account holder savings account
FAQs
What is the lock-in period of a PPF account?
The PPF lock-in period is 15 years.
Can I open my child’s PPF account?
Yes, parents/guardians can open a PPF account on behalf of their minor child.
Can grandparents open their grandchild’s PPF account?
Grandparents are not allowed to open their grandchild’s PPF account when the parents of the minor are still alive.
What documents do I need to submit to open a minor’s PPF account?
Child’s birth certificate is required to be submitted to open a minor’s PPF account.
Which form do I need to submit to open a PPF account?
Form A is required to be submitted to open a PPF account.
Which form should be submitted to withdraw the partial amount from the PPF account?
Form C is required to be submitted for partial withdrawal of money from the PPF account.
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