You must’ve heard this over the radio or television, and it goes something like this: mutual funds are subject to market risks. So read the offer document carefully before investing. If you choose to save money in the small savings schemes backed by the Government of India, you won’t have to keep up with such hurried disclaimers to the flashy marketing gimmicks. Public Provident Fund, popular as PPF, is among India’s most sought-after small savings schemes. Let us understand how it works as a savings scheme.
What is a PPF account?
The PPF scheme was rolled out in 1968. For many families that do not have a significant disposable income, a Public Provident Fund has turned out to be the de facto vehicle for investment alongside Fixed Deposits or FD. The annual minimum savings one has to make in a PPF login account is a nominal amount of ₹500. Small savings schemes such as Public Provident Fund, National Savings Certificate (NSC), Kisan Vikas Patra and Post Office Savings Scheme come with a sovereign guarantee and are considered risk-free.
- PPF login account can be opened by any Indian citizen to start saving money. The minimum deposit is just ₹500 per annum and is open to minors and retired people.
- PPF login account is flexible. You can monitor the balance, transfer funds to it with a PPF login or deposit a cheque and update your passbook at the bank where you have opened the account.
- The amount deposited with PPF is exempt from taxes at the time of maturity and withdrawal. Your money is safe, unlike stocks and gold, because it is backed by a sovereign guarantee of the government of India.
How to Register for a PPF Account?
You can open a PPF account through the net banking service of any of the banking and financial institutions if you have an account with them:
- Access your online banking account.
- To open a PPF account, select the “Open a PPF Account” option.
- Select the appropriate option between a “self-account” and a “minor account”.
- Enter the necessary details, including nominee information and bank information, etc.
- Verify the information displayed on the screen, such as your Permanent Account Number (PAN), etc.
- Enter the amount you intend to put into your PPF account after you have verified the facts.
- You will be required to set up standing instructions allowing the bank to deduct the payment either in a lump sum or at predetermined intervals.
- After you make your choice, you will receive an OTP on your registered mobile number
- Upon completion of the verification process, your PPF account will be opened.
- Some banks may even request that you submit a paper copy of the information you entered along with a reference number and send it to the appropriate bank together with your KYC information.
After opening a Public Provident Fund account, the next step is PPF login. The government of India has given you the option of online PPF account login if you do not wish to visit the bank or post office where you have opened your Public Provident Fund account.
PPF Login Procedure: Step by Step Guide
You can log into your PPF account by following just a few simple steps:
- Visit the website of your bank. For example, if it is the State Bank of India, you will either have the bank link redirecting you to the PPF login page, or you can Google PPF login for the SBI portal.
- Now you must type in your account number and password for the internet banking account for the PPF website login. These are shared by the bank.
- Once your PPF login is approved, open the PPF account passbook. You can find your last transaction recorded here and the current balance.
How to Check PPF Balance Online?
Here is how PPF login works in case you have an account in an authorised bank. Make sure the bank activates your online access.
- Follow the steps for PPF login. Keep your username and password handy. You will be asked to type them out once you have selected the ‘personal banking’ option.
- Your savings account will open on your dashboard. It will also have a tab for your PPF account.
- Click on the PPF tab. You will be provided different options after your PPF account login. This will include your PPF balance. Click to find out your balance and the last transactions made.
- Banks such as the SBI also allow checking the PPF balance of your family members with PPF login under the section called ‘View All Balance’.
How to Check PPF Balance Offline?
If you belong to the old banking school, you can go to your bank or post-office branch to check your PPF balance. In such a case, you can still opt for a PPF website log in or PPF online login. Here is how you can check your PPF balance offline.
- First, you must have a savings account in the bank with the PPF account. Your banker will link the savings account with the Public Provident Fund account.
- You have to carry your PPF passbook provided by the bank. It will have the details of the account, your customer ID and the last recorded transaction.
- You can deposit money in your account using a cheque, demand draft, or cash.
- You can produce the passbook before the teller and ask for an update. They will use the details to verify you as a customer and print out the latest information on the passbook.
- Some banks allow you to enquire about your PPF balance on your mobile phone via text updates. In such a case, you will be provided with a PIN for mobile banking for updates on your PPF account.
Importance of Public Provident Fund account
Here’s why it is a good idea to have a PPF account:
- Little to no risks: As discussed in the preceding section, Public Provident Fund is practically risk-free. The money raised through the PPF and other small savings schemes is invested in government securities. It is also used to fund the works undertaken by Public Sector Enterprises such as the Food Corporation of India.
- Inclusive: Not all investment options are included. For instance, one can only invest in real estate and gold with deep pockets. However, Investing in a Public Provident Fund is easy and does not require you to fulfil any eligibility criteria, except that you must be a citizen of India. It also asks for a minimal disposable income of ₹500, which allows even families in low-income groups to save money.
- Allows tax savings: With Public Provident Fund, you can seek a tax deduction annually. Tax deductions to the tune of INR 1.5 lakh, which is the maximum amount one can save in a Public Provident Fund in a fiscal year, are allowed under section 80C of the Income Tax Act, 1961.
- Easy Loan: The next time you click the button for PPF login, remember that you can also apply for a loan against your Public Provident Fund account. You can take a loan against your savings at a nominal charge of 1% interest.
- Withdrawal before maturity: PPF hits the home run when securing your family against emergencies. It allows partial money withdrawal even before it completes the maturity period of 15 years. One can apply for withdrawal after the completion of five years or when the account has entered its sixth year of operation.
- Better than FDs: PPF offers better returns than fixed deposits, whose interest rates have dwindled over the years. Fixed deposits (regular accounts) offer an interest rate on savings between 2.5% and 6%. In contrast, with a Public Provident Fund, you earn a compound interest of 7.1% yearly.
Investment in a long-term savings scheme comes with several benefits. The most important of them is that you are sitting on top of a sizable fund which has compounded over the years due to the accumulated interest. By setting aside small portions from your disposable income, you can indemnify yourself and your family against an emergency such as treating a medical condition or for works that require heavy investment such as constructing your home. Public Provident Fund is a government-backed safe investment scheme. With a PPF login, you can check your balance online or transfer funds from your savings in a jiffy.
PPF Account Login Related FAQs:
As per the PPF rule, you must deposit money in your PPF account before or on the 5th of every month.
Your PPF account can only be extended once after maturity.
The maximum amount that can be withdrawn from your PPF account is either 50% of the account balance at the end of the financial year or 50% of the total account balance at the end of the 4th financial year, whatever is lower.
To convert your child’s PPF account into an individual account, you must submit your child’s photo, PAN copy, address proof, and ID proof together with a cancelled cheque and get a new passbook for the account.
If you wish to close your PPF account, you can visit the Post Office where your account is held and submit a written application along with the passbook.
The minimum lock-in period for a PPF account is 15 years.
A PPF account is a long-term investment option that offers tax benefits and low risk. During the initial years, account holders can withdraw partially after the first 7 years.
To activate a dormant account, you would be required to submit a written request to your bank or post office. Along with that, you would also be required to deposit ₹500 for every year the account was inactive, including the current financial year.
You can add one or more blocks to your PPF account after the initial 15 years are up. Each block has a duration of five years. If you do not stop the account or remove the PPF amount, it will be automatically extended.
No, as per the Public Provident Fund rules, the tenure of your PPF account can be extended numerous times but only by 5 years.
The PPF account can only be closed before maturity under specific situations. To know whether you meet the criteria, you can visit the institution where your account is held.
Read more about the benefits of investing in PPF.