A Public Provident Fund is a fixed income saving scheme wherein you can invest for a long term and get a guaranteed rate of return on your investment. A PPF Account can be opened easily with an authorized bank or post office and then you can deposit money into the account for saving tax as well as for building a secured corpus for your financial goals.
Opening of a PPF Account can be done online as well as offline. You can open a PPF account with a bank or a post office. Usually, almost all reputed banks allow you to open a PPF Account with them.
List of Banks Offering PPF Accounts
- Bank of Baroda
- HDFC Bank
- ICICI Bank
- Axis Bank
- Kotak Mahindra Bank
- State Bank of India and its subsidiaries which include the following –
- State Bank of Travancore
- State Bank of Bikaner and Jaipur
- State Bank of Hyderabad
- State Bank of Patiala
- State Bank of Mysore
- Canara Bank
- Bank of India
- Union Bank of India
- Central Bank of India
- Bank of Maharashtra
- Indian Overseas Bank
- IDBI Bank
- Punjab National Bank
- UCO Bank
- Punjab and Sind Bank
These are some of the common PPF Account opening banks. There are other banks too and if you hold a savings account with another bank which is not on the list, you can find out whether the bank is a PPF Account opening bank or not.
Among the list of banks offering PPF Accounts, some banks allow you to open the account online or offline while others allow only offline account opening applications.
To open the PPF Account, here are the steps which you should follow –
- To open the PPF Account offline, visit the branch of the bank which offers a PPF Account. At the branch avail a PPF Account opening form. Fill up the form stating your name, age, address and other details.
- Submit the form along with your KYC documents which include your photographs, identity proof and address proof. Also make the initial deposit for opening the PPF Account.
- Once the application form and your documents are verified by the bank, the PPF Account would be opened in your name.
Many leading banks like SBI, HDFC Bank, ICICI Bank, Axis Bank, etc. allow you to open a PPF Account online from your home or office. Under the online mode of opening the PPF Account, you don’t have to visit the branch and fill up an application form.
The application form can be filled up online itself and submitted to the bank along with your KYC documents. The first deposit to open the PPF Account can also be paid online along with the application.
Once your application is reviewed and verified, the bank would open your PPF account online.
Eligibility Criteria to Open PPF Account
You can choose any bank from the PPF Account opening banks but you would be allowed to open a PPF Account provided the following eligibility parameters are met –
- You should be an Indian resident
- You should be aged 18 years and above
- You can open only one account in your name
- For minors aged below 18 years, either of the parents of the minor child can open a PPF Account in the name of the child
- Grandparents are allowed to open a PPF Account in the name of a minor child provided they are the legal guardian of the child after the death of the parents
Things to Remember About Opening a PPF Account
You can choose a bank from the list of banks offering PPF Account and open an account online or offline as allowed by the bank that you choose.
However, when opening a PPF Account, the following points should be kept in mind –
- You would have to make a minimum deposit of Rs 500 to open the account
- The maximum deposit allowed in the account within one financial year is limited to Rs 1.5 lakhs
- The investment tenure of the PPF Account is 15 years. You can also extend the investment tenure by another 5 years after the maturity of the scheme if you want
- Once you open a PPF Account, you should make at least one deposit into the account every financial year during the investment period.
During a financial year, the minimum deposit required to keep the PPF Account active is Rs.500. You can make this deposit in one lump sum or in instalments during the financial year.
In case of deposits in instalment, you can make an unlimited number of deposits in one financial year provided that the minimum amount of deposit is Rs.50 per instalment and the aggregate amount of instalment deposits is Rs.1.5 lakhs in a year
- If you hold a savings account with the bank with which you open a PPF Account, you can directly transfer funds to the PPF Account through your savings account
- Contributions to the PPF Account can be made through cash, cheque, online transfers or through other digital payment modes
- The investments that you make towards the PPF Account would be allowed as a deduction under Section 80C of the Income Tax Act, 1961 up to Rs.1.5 lakhs
- The interest rate on the PPF Account is fixed by the Government and reviewed every quarter. The interest rate for the current quarter stands at 7.1% per annum
Invest in a PPF scheme to earn guaranteed returns and choose any of the above-mentioned banks to open a PPF Account with. The account opening formality is simple and once opened you can invest over a long term period and build up a good corpus without fearing market volatility.