Have a PPF Account? Read This     (30-Apr-2012 )

Till date, the Public Provident Fund (PPF) scheme is the most popular investment in India. If you’re looking for an exemption on the money you invest, interest that is non-taxable and a maturity amount that is exempt from tax as well, this is the instrument for you.

So it’s no surprise that with these 3 very prominent benefits, almost every individual in the country has a PPF account and contributes to it religiously every year.

But do you really have total PPF knowledge? Are you aware of interest rate changes in the PPF over time? Do you know that this money can never be attached to any debt or liability i.e. it is yours forever? There are many ways in which you can derive the maximum benefit from your PPF account. Let’s see if you know everything you need to know about this incredible investment instrument.

Let’s get straight to the facts...

1. PPF stands for Public Provident Fund - a government backed, long term, retirement savings instrument.

With a 15 year lock in, this is the longest horizon for an investment that exists in India. If you are keen on a safe investment, a decent rate of return, tax benefits (deduction and tax free interest) and have a long term investment horizon, then the PPF is for you. It is a disciplined investment avenue as your money is blocked for 15 years. PPF also offers loan against the account which can help you during occasions like a wedding in the family, further studies of your children, etc.

2. The main features are:

  1. the 15 year lock in,
  2. the E-E-E status (tax exemption on investment, interest and maturity) under Section 80C,
  3. the minimum investment of Rs. 500 p.a. and maximum of Rs. 1 lakh p.a. (w.e.f 01-Dec-2011)
  4. and the interest rate which currently stands at 8.8% for this fiscal year. The interest rate will be announced annually, it is no longer fixed at 8% p.a.

In fact, the PPF interest rate has steadily dropped over the years, and can be expected to slowly fall as the years proceed. Here’s a look at what rates used to be in the hey-days of the PPF account:

Period Interest Rate p.a.
01 April 1986 - 14 Jan 2000 12%
15 Jan 2000 - 28 Feb 2001 11%
01 March 2001 - 28 Feb 2002 9.50%
01 March 2002 - 28 Feb 2003 9.00%
01 March 2003 - 30 Nov 2011 8.00%
01 Dec 2011 - 31 March 2012 8.60%
01 April 2012 till date 8.80%

3. An NRI can’t open a PPF account.

The rule of 25th July, 2003 states that ‘Non Resident Indians are not eligible to open an account under the PPF Scheme’. However ‘Provided that if a resident who subsequently becomes a Non Resident during the currency of the maturity period prescribed under the PPF scheme may continue to subscribe to the Fund till its maturity, on a Non Repatriation Basis.’

So if you open it as an RI, and during the 15 year tenure become an NRI, you can continue to invest, but on a non-repatriable basis.

4. You can make up to 12 investments in a year into your PPF account, in multiples of Rs. 5.

5. You can transfer your account from one ‘Account Office’ to another for example for convenience if you shift home.

6. The best time to invest is between the 1st and the 5th of any month, preferably April each year. Interest is calculated for the calendar month on the lowest balance at credit of your account, between the close of the 5th day and the end of the month, and is credited at the end of every year.

7. Regarding withdrawals from your PPF account, there are 3 things you need to know:

a) Any time after the expiry of the 5th year from the date that the initial subscription is made, you become eligible to withdraw an amount of not more than 50% of the previous year’s balance or of the 4th year immediately preceding the year of withdrawal, whichever is less. If you have taken any loan on your PPF, this also gets factored in and reduces your balance.

b) You cannot make more than a single withdrawal in the year. you need to apply with Form C for any withdrawals.

c) Our PPF Calculator helps you see exactly how much you can withdraw from your PPF account and also how much loan you are eligible to avail, and in which years.

8. You can close your account or continue your account without deposits after maturity...

Any time after your account matures i.e. after the 15 year tenure is over, you can withdraw the entire balance using Form C. Interest will continue to be paid on your account and you will receive the total amount including interest up to the last month preceding the month in which you apply for a withdrawal.

9. You can even continue your account with deposits after maturity...

Few people know this, but the PPF account is indefinitely extendable. It has a 15 year lock in, but then you can extend it for periods of 5 years at a time, indefinitely. Your account continues to operate normally i.e. you make deposits of up to Rs. 1 lakh, earn interest and renew after 5 years if you wish. Everything remains E-E-E. To extend by a block of 5 years, use Form H.

10. You can withdraw, even if you choose to extend...

If you choose to extend by subscribing for a 5 year block, you can make partial withdrawals (using Form C again) of up to 60% of the amount standing at your credit at the beginning of this 5 year block period.

11. At any point in your life, you are allowed to have only 1 PPF account in your name.

You can also have an account in the name of a minor child of whom you are the parent / guardian. However that will be the child’s account, you will simply be the guardian.

If at any time it is seen that you have more than 1 account in your own name, the second account will be deactivated, and only your principal will be returned to you.

12. If you choose to take a loan against your PPF account, you can repay it within 36 months from the 1st day of the month following the month in which the loan was sanctioned. So if your loan is sanctioned in June, 2012, the following month is July 2012, and you have until end July 2015 to repay your loan. The interest rate charged is 2% p.a. over the prevailing PPF interest rate.


There’s a lot to know that can help you make the most of your PPF account. And if past rate changes are anything to go by, you can expect 8.80% interest to not last forever. As it stands today, the PPF remains E-E-E, so make the most of it to add to your retirement corpus. Feel free to use the PPF Calculator on our website and write to us for any queries you might have.

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76  Responses to
  • Vamana
    Updated on
    May 04, 2012
      Dear Sir,

    I have found this article to be very educative. Please resolve the confusion.

    The interest rate table says,
    01 March 2002 - 28 Feb 2003 9.00%
    01 March 2002 - 30 Nov 2011 8.00%

    Please note that the period is overlapping. Hence please correct it.

    You may consider mentioning about that agent's commission has been discontinued w.e.f 01-Dec-2011. This means that the subscriber has to manage the account himself.

    It will be advantageous if you were to provide the link to the regulations pertaining to the operation of this scheme.

    Please do not display the comment on the site. If you concur and if it is possible, make the revision.

  • manu modi
    Updated on
    Jun 07, 2012
      good explanation in simple language
  • Thawanya
    Updated on
    Jun 18, 2012
      Whole life insurance is one of the worst investment there is. You're basically paying more than you have to for life insurance. When you go with term life insurance, you're getting the pure insurance without the big commissions agents would get with whole life, or as they call it permanent. There's a reason why they push whole life on people, commissions. You take the rest and put into a mutual fund aside from an insurance company. Go with a no-load, low cost mutual fund.
  • Shyamkant Nimgaonkar
    Updated on
    Jun 23, 2012
      Very very useful and informative write-up on PPF
  • Ananth
    Updated on
    Jun 25, 2012
      I am an NRI but have PPF accounts for more than 6 years now for self and members of my family. I have tried to gather information about how PPF account works although I am aware of the basics. But so far I was not successful.

    PersonalFN, thank you very much. Your article on PPF is simple, crisp and insightful. Now I have full knowledge on PPF and can also share this information among my friends. I will make sure to mention the source.

    By the way I am a regular subscriber of your Mutual Fund round ups as well as recommendations. I like your Mutual Fund information too.

    Looking forward to this wonderful investment education in future too.
  • Myra Pinto
    Updated on
    Jun 26, 2012
      I have checked with SBI where I have a PPF ac. Am given to understand that after the 15 yrs term, PPF a/c can be extended only for 2 blocks of 5 yrs and not indefinitely.
  • Gusharan Kumar
    Updated on
    Jul 07, 2012
      Would you please clarify as to what is the interest charged on the loan applied against the PPF Account (your article seems to suggest a rate of 2% p.a.which does not appear to be correct). Please also clarify as to what is the % of the balance in the PPF Account up to which the loan can be applied and if the loan is granted by the Bank of Post Office where the PPF Account is kept or from somewhere else.Thank you.
  • Jaideep
    Updated on
    Jul 07, 2012
      Given the fact that the interest is tax free, the real yield is very good even with 8.8%interest rate. This is probably the bst one can get as guaranteed returns.
  • Dr. U.K. Srivastava
    Updated on
    Jul 08, 2012
      Excellent presentation. Thanks
  • Chitra Pandit
    Updated on
    Jul 20, 2012
      Very useful information. Thank you very much. You cleared my doubts. Thanks once again.
  • Mary
    Updated on
    Jul 20, 2012
      There was talk about Govt. investing PPF investors funds in equity. Is this happening now, and how will it affect the interest rates being announced annually. Does investing in equity put the investors' money at risk, How will the public be compensated it there is a loss by investing the funds in the stock market.
  • Himanshu Pandya
    Updated on
    Jul 24, 2012
      Thanks for PPF
  • oem software online
    Updated on
    Aug 19, 2012
       Thanks for the blog article.Really looking forward to read more. Really Great.
  • Radha Rajajgopal
    Updated on
    Aug 28, 2012
      Being immersed in professional as well as domestic commitments,i have never bothered to know about efficient financial planning.Your site kindles more and more interest to know how to make best use of whatever money we make .Thank you for the willingness to educate the  people who lack the financial acumen.
    Updated on
    Sep 02, 2012
      this is an eye opener unfortunately at a very late stage since it is a diminishing rate of returns as stated by u do u think it advisable to invest in it for the childrens future better late than ever. can u advise about mutual funds howto track ur investments on line and how tofind out the current performance of said funds in the market id appreciate taht very much especially the infrastructure bonds of uti thanks mr M.E. COELHO
  • PersonalFN Financial Planning
    Updated on
    Sep 06, 2012
      Dear Myra Pinto,

    The bank may be unaware of the rules. PPF is not restricted to only 2 extensions, it can be extended indefinitely, for any number of 5 year blocks. hope this helps.

    Warm regards,
    Team PersonalFN
    Financial Planning
  • PersonalFN Financial Planning
    Updated on
    Sep 06, 2012
      Dear Mr. Gusharan Kumar,

    The interest charged on the loan taken on your PPF account is 2% over the prevailing rate of interest being offered on the PPF in that year.
    Earlier, it was 1%, it has been increased to 2%.
    So for example, if you take a loan this year, when the PPF is giving 8.80%, your loan will be at 10.80% p.a.

    Warm regards

    Team PersonalFN
    Financial Planning
  • PersonalFN Financial Planning
    Updated on
    Sep 06, 2012
      Dear Radha Rajagopal,

    Thank you, if you are seeking professional assistance with your own financial planning, please call us at (022) 6136 1200, we would be delighted to assist you!

    Warm regards,

    Team PersonalFN
    Financial Planning
  • PersonalFN Financial Planning
    Updated on
    Sep 06, 2012
      Dear Mr. Michael Coelho,

    Thank you for your kind comments. Yes it is advisable to invest for your children’s future in the PPF, as this is a long term instrument with a lock in period of 15 years, so if your children’s goals are 15 years away, then the debt component of their goal investments can be invested into the PPF. The diminishing returns stated in the guide are historical diminishing returns. As of now, the PPF rates will be declared every year, and the declared rates will the applicable for that corresponding year. currently, the PPF is offering 8.80% p.a.

    You can use any of the portfolio trackers available online on PersonalFN, Equitymaster or any website of your preference, to track your mutual funds and their performance.

    Warm regards,

    Team PersonalFN

    Financial Planning


  • rupali
    Updated on
    Sep 20, 2012
      nice explanation
  • JV
    Updated on
    Sep 22, 2012
      Your usual meticulous analysis. Good job and thank you
    Jacob Varghese
  • Rambhau
    Updated on
    Sep 27, 2012
      Other components fill up my Section 80C requirements. In this case:

    1) Is it still possible for me to invest in a PPF account?

    2) Will there be a limit of 1 Lac even if I am not investing for 80C?

    3) What is the total combined amount that I can put if I have accounts for self, wife and one child.

  • Jijina Sam
    Updated on
    Oct 20, 2012
      As already explained above, YES, this the P.P.F.is the safest and the best option available to an individual, as the opportunity and an encouragement towards saving, especially, the relief  and exemptions offered under E.E.E., on withdrawl/ maturity. 
    The only safe option avaiable to a Senior Citizens, having spare funds to encourage further savings/ investments, when all other avenues such as medi-claim, life insurance etc. are denied or are available only at enhanced rates, treating the Senior-citizen as a liability.
  • Chet Kamal Parkash
    Updated on
    Oct 23, 2012
      A lot has been explained in Precise manner. Useful explanation about the PPF Basics.
  • Devanshu
    Updated on
    Nov 03, 2012
      Thanks for the explanation. Its really very helpful.
  • Priya
    Updated on
    Nov 09, 2012
      I want to know exactly how much one can invest in PPF account.Since few places its written one can invest upto 1 lakh and few places its written you can invest upto 70,000.

    I also want to know for salaried employess , is this 1 lakh/70K amount inclusive of their employee and employer's contribution towards PF.

    I also want to know what will happen if you transfer more than 1lakh/70k amount to your PPF account.

    I would really appreciate if i get the answers of my above mentioned queries.Thanks in advance.

  • Team PersonalFN
    Updated on
    Nov 12, 2012
      Dear Priya,

    Thank you for writing in with your comment.

    To address your queries:

    1. The PPF maximum investment limit was earlier Rs. 70,000 per financial year, it has been increased to Rs. 1 lakh per financial year.

    2. Public Provident Fund (PPF) is completely different from Employee Provident Fund (EPF) that you and your employer contribute to. They are different investments, one does not include the other.
    However, both investments come under the same tax section i.e. Section 80C, of which the maximum tax exemption limit is Rs. 1 lakh. So if you contribute some amount to your EPF, you should reduce this amount from your PPF Contribution, if you do not want to go above the Rs. 1 lakh tax exemption limit under Section 80C.

    3. If you transfer more than Rs. 1 lakh to your PPF, you will not earn any interest or tax exemption on the surplus amount. You should not invest above the maximum allowed investment.

    Warm regards,
    Team PersonalFN
  • Guru T Sharan
    Updated on
    Dec 06, 2012
      Nice article. very useful.
    Can you give the interest rates of both ppf and fd over past years. so that its easy for us to decide without confusion.

    if ppf interest rate goes down, fd interest rates will also goes down?
  • Nityanand
    Updated on
    Jan 06, 2013
      Liked the article. One page stop to know all about PPF
  • shaan
    Updated on
    Jan 20, 2013
      Very nice explanation. For NRIs (who opened the account when they were resident), can they extend the maturity for 5 year block after the 15 years are over?
  • vinod kumar khuller
    Updated on
    Feb 15, 2013
      good information but should contain illustrations 2 explain in detail
  • Sandip
    Updated on
    Mar 22, 2013
      Can I transfer my PPF account from Post Office to any SBI? If yes, then please let me know the steps. Thanks in advance.
  • Deepak Doraiswami
    Updated on
    Apr 20, 2013
      You can also open a PPF account with ICICI bank.
  • Girish
    Updated on
    May 08, 2013
      I am having a home loan and usually use any surplus in paying off as pre-payment. Is that a better strategy or investing in PPF is better?
  • Raghavendra H M
    Updated on
    May 22, 2013

    Excellent explanation on PPF, 

  • Sunu
    Updated on
    May 31, 2013
      Very useful.Nice one for the Child's future in this highly volatile market.
  • Lalit
    Updated on
    Jul 23, 2013
      I and my wife subscribe to PPF individually. Can we also open an account in the name of our minor child?
  • DC Gupta
    Updated on
    Aug 06, 2013
      Thanks for the lucid writeup on PPF. I wonder whether an NRI can, on maturity of his account, continue with his account without any transactions and continue to earn interest on the balance in his account beyond maturity.
  • N Kamala
    Updated on
    Aug 17, 2013
      Your PPF calculator does not have an option to see what the corpus grows to if extended to 25 years.

    Believe me those figures are mind boggling and will convince all youngsters of today to open a PPF account
  • Tony
    Updated on
    Aug 26, 2013
      I have a PPF accounts in the Post Office and contribute 1 lac pa into this PPF's. I now want to open 2 minor PPF accounts for my kids and will also be contributing 1 lac each into their PPF accounts. So my total contribution will be 3 lacs. Some people tell me that I cannot do this as they say that my PPF account contribution+2 minor kids contribution should total to 1 lac only. Is this true? The post office is not aware of this restriction. In my opinion the post should see this as 3 seperate PPF accounts. I dont want any complications for my kids in the future.

    Any help will be greatly appreciated.
  • Surendra H. Shah
    Updated on
    Sep 27, 2013
      Very Useful information.
    What about the withdrawal / continuation of the account by nominee/legal heir in case of the the death of the account holder?
  • Regie
    Updated on
    Nov 13, 2013
      Very useful Information
  • Varun Rathore
    Updated on
    Nov 13, 2013
      Can I transfer my PPF account opened in a Post Office to SBI or ICICI Bank?
  • amar salagare
    Updated on
    Dec 04, 2013
      very useful information..thanks
  • Rahul
    Updated on
    Dec 05, 2013
      Thanks for the Information on PPF
  • Mrigna
    Updated on
    Dec 26, 2013
      Can i get tax benefit from my child's PPF A/C?
  • Mangesh B
    Updated on
    Jan 04, 2014
      Husband has a PPF account and the only earner in the house.So even if spouse does not have any source of income then can one open PPF account in the name of Spouse?
    If yes then are there any specific rules or conditions to be aware of?
  • Jai Prakash Chauasia
    Updated on
    Jan 05, 2014
      I need a clarification. If you open an account for a minor child, does the limit of maximum invetsment of Rs 1 lakh apply to both parent and child together or separately?
  • Sunita
    Updated on
    Feb 20, 2014
      Very educative and insightful.

  • Ashvinkumar Shukla
    Updated on
    Feb 26, 2014
       One thing in the article is missing and that is 'when one missed to deposit the required amount in the PPF account,the account discontinues.And if he/she wants to continue it,he should deposit minimum required amount Rs.500 and the the interest thereon year to year.'for the missed period of years.For eg.500 *5years=Rs.2500 plus interest on the amount considering interest for each year missed.I think you will consider it and add in this article.
  • Arun Kumar Gupta
    Updated on
    Mar 22, 2014
      I am a PPF a/c holder in Central bank of India, a pass book issued by the bank for the same, but i want to know, " Is there any Govt site in which i may check my PPF a/c Status"
  • md abdul mubeen
    Updated on
    Mar 26, 2014
      I learn a lot rgarding ppf   thanks very much.
  • Ramyajit dasgupta
    Updated on
    Apr 03, 2014
      I want to open one PPF account in this month.
    Please inform the procedure and where this PPF account can be open ?
  • mahin
    Updated on
    May 08, 2014
      Thanks a lot to guide to us.
  • best prices
    Updated on
    May 12, 2014
       I really like and appreciate your article.Much thanks again. Really Cool.
  • Pratap Kumar Nayak
    Updated on
    May 14, 2014
      I have one question:
    Suppose i deposit money in the month of june 2014(eg 50,000) and on the other side i deposit 50,000 in December2014 .What difference does it make during the interest rate that will be implemented on march 31st 2015. As between both these investment there is a 6 months difference.
  • Jacob Thomas
    Updated on
    May 15, 2014
      It is really a useful information, especially for those who are retiring soon. Good tax planning scheme coupled with investment scheme.
    Jacob Thomas
  • Kashyap Patel
    Updated on
    May 22, 2014

    Excellent in-depth article. But I need to know this.

    I am PPF account holder with SBI. I now want to open an account in name of my son who is almost 2 now. I have tried to open it with SBI but the then manager refused me in stating that under so and so notification the account in name of minor is now not possible. I know that HUFs are barred since 2005 but dont know the case with minors.

    I got same review from couple of consultants and they said that it is not possible to open an account in name of minor.

    But just recently my friend opened the account for his 9 month son with IDBI.
    So now I am confused... I searched it on web but did not see any thing suggesting that the minor cannot open a PPF account.

    Is it because I already have a PPF account and so I cannot get one for my son???

    Now that I know that IDBI in my city is opening PPF for minor I can approach them and get one for my kid. I already have PAN card of my son.

    But can this create any problem in future. Because I know that if more than one account of an individual are discovered... only the principal amount, and not the interest earned on it, will be refunded to the multiple PPF Account holder.

  • Naimat
    Updated on
    May 29, 2014
      Marvellous coverage!!!

    Simple and clear explanation.

    That reflects superb and professional team work.
  • awesome seo
    Updated on
    Jun 19, 2014
       Very good blog article.Much thanks again. Keep writing.
  • awesome seo
    Updated on
    Jul 04, 2014
      I cannot thank you enough for the post.Much thanks again. Much obliged.
  • sanjeev gupta
    Updated on
    Jul 26, 2014
  • Vishal
    Updated on
    Aug 06, 2014

    Can I deposit 1 lakh cash in my PPF? Will there be any IT implication?

  • crorkz matz
    Updated on
    Aug 06, 2014
      Great post.Really looking forward to read more. Fantastic.
  • Kunal
    Updated on
    Aug 14, 2014
      Really good explanation. Just need to update data as per 2014 budget.
  • Gaurav
    Updated on
    Aug 14, 2014

    Very brief and simple explanation. Good work.            
  • S G Basu
    Updated on
    Aug 14, 2014
      Please update the present [1Apr 2014 onwards] Interest Rate.
  • Joshi
    Updated on
    Oct 15, 2014
      I would like to know what happens to the PPF account of a demised person. What are the options to proceed with such an account of someone who is no more alive?

  • Dheeraj Gupta
    Updated on
    Dec 01, 2014
      Thanks a lot to guide to us.
  • baxz crorkzz
    Updated on
    Feb 05, 2015
      ZJshns I am usually to blogging and i actually recognize your content. The article has actually speaks my interest. I'm going to bookmark your site and keep checking for new information.
  • matt daemon
    Updated on
    Mar 07, 2015
      cuPipU Wow! This can be one particular of the most beneficial blogs We've ever arrive across on this subject. Basically Wonderful. I am also an expert in this topic so I can understand your effort.
  • nick crorkz
    Updated on
    Apr 07, 2015
      NDX6jE Good write-up, I am normal visitor of one's web site, maintain up the nice operate, and It's going to be a regular visitor for a long time.
    Updated on
    May 24, 2015
  • Sriram
    Updated on
    Aug 06, 2015
      I have a ppf account in my name. My wife is also having her own ppf account in her name. Now i want to open ppf accounts in the names of my minor children.My question is whether the interest accrued in the minors accounts is liable for taxation in the parents*s  tax returns. 
  • shyamlal
    Updated on
    Aug 12, 2015
      good article.however, what happens when a person dies leaving two nominees, say 60% balance of ppf acc towife and remaining 40% to his son.if son is staying abroad how wife can get the entire sum where son also desires that the entire sum be paid to his mother?
  • y p chaudhary
    Updated on
    Oct 16, 2015
      I have completed 15yrs of my PPF a/c and have extended it for further 5yrs. I have withdrawn 60% of the amount as per balance of three year past. 2yrs has passed in extension. can I fu rher make a withdrawl in the coming years?             Kindly clarify.

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