9 Mins

The Indian Postal System is one of the few organisations in our country that reach even the remote parts. This is a key reason why the organisation has been forefront in delivery services. These services range from insurance and banking to small savings schemes such as the Public Provident Fund (PPF). A Post Office PPF has historically been a tax saving and risk-free investment instrument. Also, it is a safe deposit scheme that offers attractive interest rates.

Here, in this article, we will provide a complete guide on post office PPF (public provident fund)

Eligibility to open a PPF plan in Post Office

The following is the eligibility criteria to open a PPF account in a Post Office.

  • An individual who either works for a private company or is pensioner or self-employed or is a part of any other similar category can open a post office PPF account in a post office.
  • An individual can open only one account under their name. In case they open two accounts, the principal amount of the second account will be refunded without interest. And the account will be closed. 
  • A mother or father can open a PPF account (not both) on behalf of their child ( minor).In case of death of the mother or father, the child cannot continue the account. In such cases, the account will be closed, and the amount will be refunded. 
  • An NRI (Non-Resident Indian) cannot open a PPF account.  In case they opened the account while residing in India, the account will remain active until maturity. 
  • One can open a PPF account only at Double handed post offices or above.

Documents required for opening a India post PPF account 

The following are the list of documents required for PPF account.

  • ID Proof – Aadhar Card, Passport, Driving License, Voter ID, etc
  • Address Proof –  Aadhar Card, Passport, Driving License, etc
  • A Permanent Account Number PAN Card
  • A passport size photograph
  • Nomination Form – Form E

How to open a ppf account in post office?

The process of opening a PPF account in a post office is currently paper-based. Hence, it requires a physical presence in a nearby post office. The following is the procedure to open a PPF account in  post office.

Open PPF offline through post office

  • Firstly, one has to procure an account open application form from the nearest post office or sub-office. 
  • After filling the application form, it must be submitted at a nearby post office along with self-attested copies of KYC documents (PAN card, Aadhar card, Voter ID, etc.) and passport size photograph. 
  • An initial deposit of INR 500 is required via cheque/draft for account opening. Initially, individuals are allowed to make a maximum deposit of INR 70,000. However, the maximum deposit allowed in a financial year is up to INR 1.5 lakhs. 
  • After all, the relevant documents are submitted along with the initial deposit, the PPF account passbook is handed over to the individual. The passbook contains details such as the PPF account number, name of the account holder and branch name. Furthermore, one can visit to know more about their PPF account details in post office.

Open post office PPF account online

There is no facility to open a PPF account in post office online. However, one can download the application form for opening a PPF account online through the post office website. 

Furthermore, after the account is opened, individuals can deposit money in their India post PPF online. They need to visit the post office once for the account opening process. 

Features of a Post Office PPF Account

The following are the main features of the PPF postoffice scheme.

Minimum Amount: The minimum amount that can be deposited every year is INR 500. This also helps to keep the account active.

Maximum Amount: The maximum amount that one can deposit in a financial year is INR 1.5 lakhs. 

Maturity Period: A PPF account matures after 15 years. However, an individual has an option to extend the duration by a block of 5 years. Also, a further extension does not require any additional investment.

Loan Facility: Individual can avail loan against their PPF account. However, they can avail the loan between the third and fifth year. Also, the loan amount cannot exceed 25% of the second financial year’s investments. 

Nomination Facility: Nominees can be added at time of account opening or after the account is opened. 

Taxation: The contributions made towards PPF accounts are tax-free under Section 80C of the Income Tax Act, 1961. Also, the interest earned on the contributions is tax exempted. 

Withdrawal: Individuals can withdraw their investment from their account before maturity. However, they can withdraw only a partial amount. Therefore,  Only 50% of the PPF balance at the end of 4th year or 50% at the balance of the preceding year, whichever is lower can be withdrawn.

Premature Closure: Individuals cannot close their account before the maturity period, i.e. 15 years. 

Mode of Payment: Individuals can make payment in lump sum or a maximum of 12 instalments in a financial year. 

Minor account: Individuals who have already opened an account can open another account on behalf of a minor. 

Joint account: Individuals can open a PPF account only on their name. PPF does not allow joint accounts

Interest rate on post office PPF account

PPF is a Government-backed scheme in India. Therefore, the PPF interest rate remains uniform across all post offices and banks that offer this facility. The applicable rate of interest is announced by the Ministry of Finance every quarter. The current PPF interest rate in post offices is 7.10%. The Ministry of Finance kept the PPF interest rates unchanged from the last quarter. Also, the interest payments are made on 31st March every year. 

The post office PPF interest rate is calculated based on the minimum balance in an investor’s account between the 5th day and last day of every month. Hence, it is better to make PPF deposits on or before the 5th of the particular month. This will help the investor to earn interest on the deposit amount for the entire month.

Additionally, the rate of interest earned on a PPF account post office is also exempted from tax under the Income Tax Act,1961.

How to use Scripbox’s PPF calculator?

A PPF calculator is very simple and easy to use. A PPF calculator provides an estimate of interest earned, maturity value of the invested amount and investment period. 

Any investor can use the PPF Calculator by simply visiting Scripbox’s website. One has to enter the amount to be invested and period of investment. The PPF maturity calculator will provide the total corpus at the end of the maturity period. 

Let’s understand with the help of an example – 

Mr ABC invests INR 150,000 every year at 7.10% rate of interest for 15 years, 20 years and 25 years. 

Today it is essential to know the expected maturity amount in prior. This helps investors to make appropriate investment decisions. Also, it allows them to choose between the alternatives to PPF, which will match their financial goals. 

The following are the advantages of using Scripbox’s PPF calculator online – 

  • An online PPF interest calculator provides an investor with an estimation of how much interest can be earned on the principal amount in hand. 
  • Additionally, it helps an investor in decision making on the investment horizon. In other words, how long should an investment be held to achieve a financial goal? 
  • There is also a PPF maturity calculator that helps investors to plan the schedule of investment in advance. This tool helps plan the yearly amount to be invested, loan that can be availed and the amount that can be withdrawn. 
Investment PeriodTotal Investment AmountMaturity Value
15 years22,50,00040,68,209
20 years30,00,00066,58,288
25 years37,50,0001,03,08,015

Can I open a post office PPF account online?

There is no facility to open online PPF account in post office. However, one can download the application form for opening a PPF account online through the post office website. 
Furthermore, after the account is opened, individuals can deposit money in their account online. They need to visit the post office once for the PPF account opening in the post office. 

Conclusion

India post has approved the scheme to be available at single-handed sub-post offices in the move to make the Public Provident Fund Scheme more available. The PPF scheme is a very popular scheme in India that comes with a maturity benefit of 15 years. Also, tax benefits of up to INR 1,5 lakhs for any deposits made towards the scheme. Moreover, the PPF interest rate is exempted for tax in the hands of individuals. 

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Is it safe to open PPF account in India Post Office?

Yes, opening a PPF account in an India Post Office is equally safe as opening an account with an authorised bank. One can view their account balance, make online deposits, etc., by using the IPPB app. 

Which is better for PPF account, account in bank or post office?

Having a PPF account in banks or post offices is equally benefitting. Whether a PPF account is opened in a bank or post office, the scheme features remain the same. Hence, opening a PPF account in both ways is safe and convenient. One should also consider that just like banks, post offices also offer online facilities to access PPF accounts and other government savings schemes. One can download the IPPB app to avail PPF account post office online. 

Can I transfer PPF from a post office to SBI?

Any account holder of PPF can transfer their PPF account from the post office to any other authorised bank or vice versa. In such cases, the PPF account is considered as a continuing account. 

If I relocate then will I have to close my Post Office account?

No, the account holder of a post office account shall apply for transfer from one post office to the post office close to them. They have to fill a transfer form and submit the KYC documents along with their current passbook. 

I am an NRI, can I open a PPF account at a Post Office?

Non-Resident Indian (NRIs) are not allowed to open a PPF at post office. However, if the account was opened while residing in India, the PPF account will remain active till maturity. Also, they cannot apply for account extension after the maturity period.