PPF or Public Provident Fund is a long-term saving-cum-investment products, mainly due to its combination of safety, returns and tax savings. People use the PPF as a tool to build a huge corpus for their retirement by putting aside sums of money regularly, over long periods of time. With its attractive interest rates and tax benefits, the PPF is a big favourite with a small saver as both the interest and maturity being tax-free.
The rate of interest is determined by the government every quarter and currently it stands at 7.9% interest annually. Investors can invest a minimum of Rs 500 and the maximum amount can go up to Rs. 1,50,000/- in a financial year. A PPF has a minimum tenure of 15 years. You can extend it in blocks of 5 years if you wish.You can take a loan on your PPF account between the 3rd and 5th year and make partial withdrawals after the 7th year for emergencies only.
Investors can open a PPF account either at a Post Office, some banks like State Bank of India (SBI), PNB, ICICI Bank etc. You can open an account by visiting the branches along with the necessary documents or through online.
Below are the steps to open SBI PPF account online:
1) Log in to SBI online account. Click on 'Request and enquiries' tab from the top right corner.
2) From the drop down menu, you will have to click on the new PPF account.
3) After clicking on it, you will be directed to a page containing account details.
4) If you want to open the account in the name of a minor, then you need to check on the tab which says 'If account to be opened in the name of a Minor, click here'.
5) Fill the details of the minor (name, age). You also need to fill the relationship with the applicant, in case you want to open the account in the name of a minor.
6) If the account is not to be opened in the name of minor, then you need to fill the branch code in which you want to open your PPF account.
7) After putting in branch code, you will be asked to put in the names of nominees. A maximum of five nominees can be added for a PPF account.
8) After submitting, a dialogue box will appear saying, 'your form has been successfully submitted'. It will also have the reference number.
9) Now you need to download the form with the reference number given.
10) After downloading the form, you need to print and fill the form and submit it at the branch within the 30 days along with KYC documents.