Post Office Public Provident Fund: Is it different from PPF accounts offered by SBI, HDFC?
Public Provident Fund (PPF): Reading online, you may have come across headlines like "Post Office Public Provident Fund", "SBI Public Provident Fund" or "HDFC Public Provident Fund" on websites publishing articles on personal finance.
Public Provident Fund (PPF): Reading online, you may have come across headlines like "Post Office Public Provident Fund", "SBI Public Provident Fund" or "HDFC Public Provident Fund" on websites publishing articles on personal finance. You may have wondered if there is any difference between these PPF accounts - or, whether they have different features, interest rates, terms and conditions etc? Here are some facts that will end any confusion you may have about the PPF account.
1. Public Provident Fund (PPF), as well as other Small Savings schemes, are implemented by the National Savings Institute (NSI), under the Ministry of Finance. The official website of the institute says, "National Savings Institute works under Department of Economic Affairs, Ministry of Finance, Government of India. The Institute is entrusted with the task of mobilization of savings in National Savings Schemes of Government of India, operated through Post Offices and designated Banks throughout the country." It means the PPF accounts offered by designated banks and post offices are same in terms of rules and benefits. They all have to follow the rules set by the government.
The NSI is also involved in the promotion and mobilization of savings schemes. It undertakes several publicity activities to promote the small savings scheme.
3. Features of the PPP account remains same irrespective of whether you have opened it with a Post Office, or designated banks like SBI, HDFC.
5. To open the PPF account, visit an authorised bank or post office. You will need to fill in 'Form A', attach two photographs, state your PAN, attach a copy of address and identity proof, sign and submit the form. Once the formalities are over, the bank or the post office will issue a passbook.
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6. Some designated banks also provide online PPF account facility.
7. PPF is considered to be one of the safest investment schemes. Currently, it is offering 8% interest, which is fairly high than several fixed deposit schemes offered by banks. PPF is safe because it is not affected by market turbulence. The interest rates are fixed by the government on a quarterly basis. PPF also enjoys Exempt-Exempt-Exempt (E-E-E) tax status. The deposit, interest earned and the amount withdrawn on maturity are not taxed.