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Introduction

Public Provident Fund or PPF is a government-backed long-term investment with a maturity of 15 years. It has always been a popular investment choice among millions of Indian investors due to its risk-free nature and the ability to generate tax-free returns. Since PPF is a long-term investment, it is important for you to track the PPF account balance periodically. At present, investors have the option of checking their PPF balance online and offline.

PPF Balance Check - Online

It is very easy to download and check the PPF account statement online and one can access it at any given time. However, PPF details can be checked online only if you have an account with a bank. Currently, it is not possible to check the PPF account statement online if the account has been opened at a post office. Here are the simple steps to be followed for PPF balance check.

  • You must have an existing bank savings/current account linked with your PPF account. In most cases, banks allow you to open a PPF account only if you have a prior relationship with them.
  • Ensure that you have an internet/mobile banking facility activated for your bank account.
  • PPF account details can be checked by logging in using your internet/mobile banking credentials.
  • After logging in, you can check your current PPF account balance.
  • Additional services available through net/mobile banking may include – online transfer of funds into PPF account, setting up standing instructions for PPF account, downloading your PPF account statement, submission of PPF loan application, etc.

PPF Balance Check - Offline

If your PPF account is at a bank and the internet/mobile banking facility has not been activated, you can check you bank PPF account balance offline by updating your passbook. The following are key pointers about checking PPF account balance offline at the bank:

  • The bank provides you with a passbook when you open a PPF account. This contains details of your PPF account such as PPF account balance, PPF account number, bank branch details, credits/debits to your PPF account etc.
  • You can get the PPF passbook updated periodically by visiting your bank branch.
  • Once updated, your PPF passbook will contain details of all transactions (credits/debit) made on your account along with the current balance available.

PPF Balance Check – Via Post Office

One of the popular choices of investors for opening PPF accounts in India is through the post office. This is especially true in rural and remote areas of the country that have limited banking facilities. Currently, PPF accounts opened in post offices can only be accessed offline i.e. at the post office itself. Though online services for PPF account are lacking at the post office, you do have the option of checking PPF account balance offline using the following method:

  • At the time of opening a PPF account at the post office, you are provided with a PPF account passbook.
  • The passbook contains key details including account number, credits/debits made to the PPF account, PPF account balance, etc.
  • You need to get your passbook updated at the post office periodically in order to check/track your PPF account balance offline.

Benefits of Opening a PPF Account

  • PPF is a Government-backed scheme and the principal and interest amounts in your PPF account are guaranteed and safe
  • Contributions to the account of up to Rs 1.5 lakh per annum and interest earned on the savings are both tax-free
  • The interest rate for the PPF account is declared by the Government every quarter. It must be noted that PPF returns are higher than FD rates of many banks in that period
  • The PPF account is immune from attachment from any order or decree of any court under the Government Savings Banks Act, 1873

Eligibility to Open a PPF Account

Mentioned below are the eligibility criteria for opening a PPF account:

  • Only Indian residents are allowed to open a PPF account.
  • In case a Non-Resident Indian (NRI) has opened an account while he/she was an Indian resident, the account can be continued for 15 years. However, NRIs do not have the option of extending the account.
  • Hindu Undivided Families (HUFs) cannot open a PPF account.
  • An individual is allowed to have only one account under his/her name.
  • Individuals can open a PPF account on behalf of a minor as well.

FAQs

1. Can a PPF account be accessed via internet banking?

Yes, a PPF account can be accessed by using internet banking. However, the PPF account must be linked with the savings or current account. Viewing of the account statement, transferring of funds, and viewing of PPF account balance is possible by using internet banking.

2. Can I transfer PPF account to another bank?

Yes. PPF accounts can be transferred from authorised bank or post office to another. A transferred PPF account will be considered as a continuing account.

3. Can a senior citizen open a PPF account?

There is no fixed upper age limit for opening a PPF account. Any Indian resident can open a PPF account and start investing.

4. Can PPF be withdrawn?

Yes, it is possible to withdraw up to 50% of the PPF account balance after completion of 5 years.

5. What is the PPF lock-in period?

Investments made to a PPF account have a lock-in period of 15 years. However, individuals can make a partial withdrawal from the PPF account after 5 years from the date of opening the account.

End Note

Often, we don’t keep track of the PPF account balance. But this may be our one of the biggest saving so we should check the current balance of PPF account. Note, the interest is added at the end of every financial year. Thus, your current PPF balance would also have an interest amount.

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