1. What is a PPF account?
PPF stands for Public Provident Fund which is a long-term investment scheme declared by the Government of India. It is a safe deposit scheme that offers tax exemptions and attractive interest rates. Apart from the public and private sector banks, a PPF account can also be opened through post offices.
2. Eligibility criteria for opening a PPF account in a post office
- Any individual who either works for a private company or is a pensioner or self-employed, or belongs to any other category, can open a PPF account in a post office.
- Only one PPF account can be opened per individual. In case you open more than one, only the principal amount will be refunded without any interest from the second account, and it will be closed.
- Either the father or the mother, (not both), can open a PPF account in the name of their child. In case of the death of the father or the mother, the minor cannot continue with the account, it will be closed and the money will be refunded.
- An NRI cannot open a PPF account. In case he/she opened one while residing in India, they can continue it for 15 years i.e. until the maturity of the account.
3. Documents required to open a PPF account in a post office
- ID proof: Voter’s ID, Passport, Driving license, Aadhaar Card etc.
- Address proof: Voter’s ID, Passport, Driving license, Aadhaar Card etc.
- PAN card
4. The process of opening a PPF account in a post office
The process of opening a PPF account in post offices can be completed in 4 simple steps:
(i) Get an application form from your nearest post office or from the sub-post office in your area. The application form can also be acquired online.
(ii) Fill up the form and submit it with the required KYC documents and passport size photograph.
(iii) The initial deposit required to open a post office PPF account is Rs. 500 and the maximum amount allowed initially is Rs. 70,000. However, the maximum deposit allowed within a year is Rs. 1.5 Lakh.
(iv) Once all documents are submitted with the initial deposit, the applicant will be handed a passbook for the PPF account. The passbook will contain all the details such as the name of the account holder, PPF account number, branch name etc.
A PPF is a good form of investment if you are risk-averse and do not want to subject your money to market volatility. With the simplicity of its functionality and ease of operation online, it is a convenient channel of saving. Not to forget, the maturity amount is exempted from taxation.