PPF - Public Provident Fund

The full form of PPF is Public Provident Fund. It is a popular long-term investment scheme introduced by the Government of India. It offers attractive interest rates and tax benefits. PPF scheme is considered a safe investment optionfor individuals looking for stable returns.

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What is PPF?

The PPF meaning can be stated simply as a long-tenure investment scheme. This scheme is for those individuals who want to earn high and stable returns. The main objective of opening a PPF account is safeguarding the principal amount. At the time opening a PPF account, applicant needs to deposit money every month and interest gets compounded. 

Features of a PPF Account

Interest Rate 7.1%
Tenure 15 years
Minimum Investment Rs. 500
Maximum Investment Rs. 1.5 lakh per annum
Opening Balance Rs. 100 a month
Frequency of Deposit Once a year
Mode of Deposit Cash, cheque, demand draft (DD), or through an online fund transfer
Mode of Holding Individual only
Risk Factor Minimal
Tax Benefit Interest and maturity amounts are tax-free u/s 80C and Section 10
Partial withdrawal Available from the seventh year onwards

Here are the key features of a PPF account:

  • Investment Tenure: A PPF account has a lock-in period of 5 years, before which the investor cannot withdraw. An investor has the option to choose to increase the tenure by 5 years after the lock-in time of PPF is ended (if needed). 

  • Minimum and maximum deposit: A minimum deposit of Rs. 500 per year and maximum deposit of Rs. 1.5 Lacs can be invested in a Public Provident Fund. This can be done through installment or lump sum basis. While opening the PPF account, an investor is eligible only for 12 instalment payment options yearly into a Public Provident Fund scheme.  

  • Interest Rate: The current PPF interest rate from 01.04.2020 to 30.06.2023 is 7.1% p.a. which is compounded annually. The interest rate is announced by the government for each financial year. The interest is calculated on the minimum balance between the 5th and last day of each month and is credited to the PPF account at the end of the financial year.

You can use the PPF calculator to calculate the returns and maturity amount of a Public Provident Fund (PPF) investment.

  • Loan against Investments: PPF provides the option of availing loans against the amount of investment. The loan will be given if it is opted anytime from the starting of third year till the sixth year from the activation date of PPF account. The maximum duration of availing loans against the Public Provident Fund Scheme is 3 years i.e. 36 months. 

  • Partial withdrawal: Partial withdrawals from a PPF account are allowed from the 7th year onwards, subject to certain conditions and limits.

Eligibility Criteria to Open a PPF Account? 

  • Indian citizens are eligible to open a PPF account by his/her name. 

  • Minors can also have a PPF account by their name, but it was operated by their parents. 

  • NRIs (Non-Resident Indians) are not allowed to open a new account. Any account existing by their name remains in force. 

Importance of a PPF Account

As discussed above, Public Provident Fund (PPF) is suitable for individuals who have a low-risk appetite. The scheme is backed by the Indian Government, offering guaranteed returns to secue the financial requirements of the individuals in India. The funds invested in the PPF scheme are not market-linked. 

Here are a few reasons why a PPF account is important:

  • Long-term savings: PPF encourages individuals to save for the long term, typically over a period of 15 years. This disciplined approach helps in building a substantial corpus over time.

  • Tax benefits: Contributions made towards a PPF account are eligible for tax deductions under Section 80C of the Income Tax Act, up to a specified limit. The interest earned and the maturity amount are also tax-free.

  • Retirement planning: PPF can be an effective tool for retirement planning. By investing consistently over the years, individuals can accumulate a significant corpus that can provide financial security during their retirement years.

How to Open a PPF Account?

To open a PPF account either through an offline or online method. You can activate PPF online by visiting the website of the bank you have selected. 

To open through the offline method, follow these steps:

Step 1: Visit a designated bank or post office that offers PPF facility.

Step 2: Fill out the account opening form, providing the necessary details and submitting the required documents (such as identity proof, address proof, and photographs).

Step 3: Deposit the minimum amount to activate the account.

Step 4: Once the account is opened, you will receive a passbook to record all transactions related to your PPF account.

Documents Required 

Documents Required for PPF Account Activation

  • KYC documents verifying identity (choose one):

    • Aadhaar Card

    • Voter ID

    • Driver's License

  • PAN Card

  • Residential Address Proof

  • Form for Nominee Declaration

  • Passport-sized Photograph

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PPF – Tax Benefits

PPF offers several tax benefits to investors:

  • Tax deduction: Contributions made towards a PPF account are eligible for tax deductions under Section 80C of the Income Tax Act, subject to a maximum limit of Rs. 1.5 lakh per financial year.

  • Tax-free interest: The interest earned on the PPF account is tax-free under Section 10 of Income Tax Act, ensuring that the returns are not reduced by tax liabilities.

  • Tax exemption at maturity: The maturity amount, including the principal and the accumulated interest, is entirely tax-free.


PPF allows partial withdrawals and complete withdrawals at maturity. Here is the withdrawal rule:

Partial withdrawals can be made from the 7th year onwards, subject to a maximum limit of 50% of the balance at the end of the 4th preceding year or the 50% of the balance at the end of the preceding year, whichever is lower.

Loan Against PPF Scheme

  • PPF account holders can avail loans against their PPF balance. The loan can be taken from the 3rd year to the 6th year of opening the account.

  • Loan amount can’t be more than 25% of the second year immediately preceding the loan application year

  • If the first loan is fully paid back, you can get a second loan the sixth year.

Procedure to Withdraw PPF Money

To withdraw money from your PPF account, follow these steps:

  • Fill out Form C, which is the withdrawal form, available at the bank or post office where the PPF account is held.

  • Specify the withdrawal amount and the mode of payment (cheque or direct credit to a linked bank account).

  • Submit the form along with the passbook to the bank or post office.

  • The withdrawal amount will be credited to your specified account or handed over as per your request.

Checking PPF Balance Online

To check your PPF account balance online, follow these steps:

  • Log in to the official website of the bank or post office where your PPF account is held.

  • Navigate to the PPF account section and enter your login credentials.

  • Once logged in, you will be able to view your PPF account balance and transaction history.

Checking PPF Balance Offline

To check your PPF account balance offline:

  • Obtain your PPF passbook from the bank.

  • Visit the bank branch where you opened your PPF account.

  • Update your passbook at the bank during operating hours.

  • Your passbook will show all credit/debit transactions and the outstanding balance.

  • If you have a PPF account through the Post Office, update your passbook there.

Interest on Loan against PPF

  • If you repay the loan within 36 months, an interest rate of 1% per annum will be applicable in addition to the existing PPF interest rate. This means that the interest charged on the loan will be 1% above the interest you would normally earn on your PPF account.

  • However, if the loan repayment extends beyond 36 months, the interest rate increases to 6% per annum above the existing PPF interest rate. This higher interest rate will be applicable from the date of loan disbursal until the loan is fully repaid.

Banks eligible to open PPF Account for their Customers

There are several banks in India that offer the facility to open a PPF (Public Provident Fund) account for their customers. Here are some of the participating banks where you can open a PPF account:

  • State Bank of India (SBI)

  • Punjab National Bank (PNB)

  • Central Bank of India

  • ICICI Bank

  • HDFC Bank

  • Canara Bank

  • Bank of Baroda

  • Axis Bank

  • Union Bank of India

  • Bank of India

  • Indian Overseas Bank

  • Kotak Mahindra Bank

  • Oriental Bank of Commerce

  • IDBI Bank

  • Bank of Maharashtra

  • Dena Bank

How to link Aadhaar with a PPF account online?

To link your Aadhaar with a PPF account online:

  • Visit the bank's website offering PPF services.

  • Look for the option to link Aadhaar with PPF.

  • Enter PPF account details and 12-digit Aadhaar number.

  • Submit the form and verify through OTP.

  • Receive confirmation of successful linking.

Revival of Inactive PPF Account

If a PPF account becomes inactive due to non-deposit of the minimum required amount which is Rs.500  in a financial year, it can be revived by:

  • To reactivate your account, you must submit a written request at either the post office or the bank branch where your account is located.

  • You will be required to pay a fine of INR 50 for each year that your account has been inactive.

  • You must settle any outstanding amount of at least INR 500 for all the years that your account has remained inactive.

Closure of PPF Account

A PPF account can be closed only upon completion of the maturity period, which is 15 years from the end of the financial year in which the account was opened. However, in certain cases such as medical emergencies, life-threatening ailments affecting the account holder, spouse, dependent children or parents. It is essential to submit the closure application along with the necessary documents to the respective PPF account office for processing.

PPF Calculator

A PPF calculator is a financial tool that helps you calculate the maturity amount of your Public Provident Fund (PPF) investment. It takes into account the amount you invest, the interest rate, and the tenure of your investment to estimate the maturity amount.

A PPF calculator can be a helpful tool to use when you are planning your PPF investment. It can help you determine how much you need to invest each month or year to reach your desired maturity amount. It can also help you compare different investment options and find the one that best suits your needs.


  • What is Form C and three sections of Form C?

    Form C is the withdrawal form used for making partial withdrawals, complete withdrawals, or for availing loans against a PPF account. It captures the necessary details required for processing the transaction.

    Here is a breakdown of each section:

    Section 1: Declaration In this section, you are required to provide your PPF account number and specify the amount of money you intend to withdraw. Additionally, you need to mention the number of years that have elapsed since the opening of the account.

    Section 2: Office Use This section is designated for office use and contains the following information:

    • The date when the PPF account was initially opened.

    • The total balance currently available in the PPF account.

    • The date of the previous withdrawal request that was approved.

    • The total amount of funds that can be withdrawn from the account.

    • The authorized withdrawal amount.

    • The signature and date of the responsible individual, usually the service manager.

    Section 3: Bank Details In this section, you are required to provide information about the bank where the withdrawn funds should be directly credited or the bank in whose favor a cheque or demand draft should be issued. Additionally, you must include a copy of the PPF passbook along with the application.

  • What is the PPF Nomination criteria?

    Nomination can be made for one or more individuals, specifying their percentage share. Minors' accounts are not eligible for nominations. The account holder can nominate parents, spouse, relatives, children, or friends. To add a nominee, submit Form E. Changes to the nomination can be made anytime using the Application for Change of Nomination. The form needs signatures from the account holder and two witnesses, and should be submitted at the bank/post office.
  • Can we transfer PPF accounts?

    PPF accounts can be transferred from one authorized bank or post office to another. The transfer process requires submitting a transfer application, along with relevant documents, to the current PPF account office.
  • How much can you invest in the PPF Account?

    You can invest a minimum of Rs. 500 and a maximum of Rs. 1,50,000 in a financial year.
  • What is the tenure of PPF Account?

    A PPF Account has a minimum tenure of 15 years. You can extend it in blocks of 5 years if you wish.
  • Is it mandatory to withdraw the balance at the end of the 15 years?

    Withdrawing from the PPF balance is not mandatory at the end of the maturity period, i.e., 15 years.
  • Who is eligible for a PPF account?

    Any Indian citizen can open a PPF account.
  • How many PPF accounts can one have?

    An individual can open only one PPF account, either with a bank or with a post office.
  • When can one take a loan on a PPF account?

    You can take a loan on a PPF account between the 3rd and 6th year for a maximum tenure of 36 months.
  • How to Maximize the PPF Gains?

    For interest purposes, the bank considers the deposits made from the 1st to the 5th of any given month. Hence, to gain maximum interest, you should deposit before the 5th of any given month.
  • How to Check Your PPF Account Balance Online?

    To check the PPF balance online, first, log in to your internet banking account. Then, open the PPF account details and check the latest balance in your PPF account.
  • What is the PPF interest rate for 2022-23?

    The PPF interest rate for 2022-23 is 7.1%. PPF, as you know, is backed by the Government of India and is amongst the safest investment options in the country today. Offering a 7.1% rate of interest as of November 2021, over 15 years, both principal and interest earned on PPF investment are completely tax-free.
  • When to deposit money in a PPF account?

    There is no specific due date one should consider depositing money in a PPF account. It is however beneficial to deposit money between 1st April and 5th April of a financial year. In order to earn maximum benefits, one can make monthly deposits within the 5th of every month.

*All savings are provided by the insurer as per the IRDAI approved insurance plan.
*Tax benefit is subject to changes in tax laws. Standard T&C Apply
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