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Public Provident Fund (PPF): Interest Rate & Tax Benefit 2023


Public Provident Fund (PPF)

The Public Provident Fund (PPF) has been a cornerstone of India’s financial landscape since its inception in 1968. Over the years, it has become a powerful savings and investment tool for millions of Indians. In this article, we will delve into the basics of the PPF, including account opening procedures, interest rates, withdrawal rules, and the associated tax benefits. By the end, you’ll understand how this scheme can serve as a secure foundation for your financial future.

Understanding the Importance of PPF

The PPF is renowned for providing a haven for risk-averse investors. Its primary objectives are encouraging small contributions, fostering long-term savings, and offering tax-saving opportunities. Here are some key reasons why PPF is highly regarded:

1. Stability in Returns: PPF may not offer sky-high returns but provides a stable and secure investment environment. Its returns are not subject to market fluctuations, ensuring consistent savings growth.

2. Tax Benefits: One of the most attractive features of the PPF is its tax-saving potential. Deposits made under this scheme are eligible for deductions under Section 80C of the Income Tax Act up to a maximum limit of ₹1.5 lakhs per annum.

3. Diversification: PPF is an effective diversification tool for your investment portfolio. Its guaranteed returns help balance the overall risk in your financial holdings.

Key Information About PPF

Before diving into the nitty-gritty details of the PPF, let’s explore some vital statistics:

  • Interest Rate: Currently, the PPF offers an interest rate of 7.1% per annum, compounded annually.
  • Minimum Investment Amount: You can start with a minimum investment of ₹500.
  • Maximum Investment Amount: The upper limit for annual contributions is ₹1.5 lakh.
  • Tenure: The PPF has a fixed tenure of 15 years, which can be extended in blocks of 5 years as per your preference.
  • Risk Profile: PPF is renowned for providing guaranteed, risk-free returns and complete capital protection.
  • Tax Benefit: You can claim tax benefits on deposits made up to ₹1.5 lakhs under Section 80C of the Income Tax Act.

Features of PPF Account

Understanding the features of a PPF account is crucial for making informed investment decisions:

  • Tenure: The minimum tenure for a PPF account is 15 years, with the option to extend in 5-year blocks.
  • Investment Limits: You can invest a minimum of ₹500 and a maximum of ₹1.5 lakhs each financial year, either in a lump sum or a maximum of 12 instalments.
  • Opening Balance: A PPF account can be initiated with just ₹100 monthly. However, annual investments exceeding ₹1.5 lakhs won’t earn interest or provide tax savings.
  • Deposit Frequency: You must make at least one deposit every year for 15 years to keep the account active.
  • Mode of Deposit: Deposits can be made in cash, by cheque, demand draft (DD), or through online fund transfers.
  • Nomination: You can nominate a beneficiary for your PPF account during its setup or later.
  • Joint Accounts: PPF accounts can only be held in the name of a single individual; joint accounts are not permitted.
  • Risk Factor: Backed by the Indian government, PPF offers minimal risk and guaranteed, tax-free returns, making it an ideal diversification tool.
  • Partial Withdrawal: From the seventh financial year onwards, you can withdraw your PPF account partially.

Interest Rate on PPF 2023

The current PPF interest rate is 7.1% per annum, compounded annually. The Finance Ministry sets this rate every year, with interest calculated on the lowest balance between the fifth and last days of each month. To determine the returns on your PPF investments, you can use a PPF calculator available online.

How Does the PPF Account Work?

Understanding the workings of a PPF account is essential for maximizing its benefits:

  • Account Opening: An adult can open a PPF account for themselves or on behalf of a minor. The account has a fixed 15-year tenure, during which you can deposit between ₹500 and ₹1.5 lakh each financial year.
  • Deposit Flexibility: You can make deposits as lump sums or in instalments, with no restrictions on the number of deposits you can make in a year. Deposits are exempt from income tax under Section 80C.
  • Minimum Annual Deposit: To keep the account active, you must deposit a minimum of ₹500 per financial year. Failure to meet this requirement incurs a penalty of ₹50, along with the minimum deposit, to reactivate the account.
  • Interest Rate and Compounding: The PPF account earns an interest rate of 7.1% annually (as of Q2 FY2023-24).
  • Loan Facility: You can avail of a loan against your PPF balance, with a maximum tenure of three years (36 months). The loan amount is capped at 25% of the available balance.
  • Partial and Premature Withdrawals: Subject to specific conditions, you can make partial and premature withdrawals from your PPF account.
  • Account Extension: Upon maturity, you can extend your PPF account, with or without additional contributions, or close it.

PPF Account Eligibility

Understanding who can invest in a PPF account is crucial:

  • Indian Citizen: Any Indian citizen can invest in a PPF account.
  • Single Account: A single citizen can have only one PPF account, except if the second account is in the name of a minor.
  • NRIs and HUFs: NRIs and HUFs are ineligible to open new PPF accounts. However, existing accounts held by NRIs can remain active until maturity but cannot be extended for five years, as is the case with Indian citizens.

How to Open a PPF Account?

The process of opening a PPF account is relatively straightforward:

  1. Choose the Provider: You can open a PPF account at a Post Office or with any nationalized bank like State Bank of India or Punjab National Bank. Some private banks, including ICICI, HDFC, and Axis Bank, also offer this service.
  2. Gather Documents: You’ll need a filled account opening application form, KYC documents (Aadhaar, Voter ID, Driver’s License, etc.), proof of residential address, a nominee declaration form, and passport-size photographs.
  3. Apply Online (if available): Some banks offer the convenience of opening a PPF account online. If your bank provides this service, log in to your internet or mobile banking platform, select the ‘Open a PPF Account’ option, fill in the required details, and apply.

Loan Against PPF

A PPF account allows one to take a loan against it between the 3rd and 6th year. The maximum loan tenure is three years, with the loan amount limited to 25% of the total available balance. If the first loan is repaid in full, a second loan can be taken before the 6th year.

PPF Withdrawal

PPF account holders can fully withdraw their balance only after completing the 15-year tenure. However, partial withdrawals are allowed from the seventh financial year, subject to specific conditions. Withdrawals are capped at 50% of the account balance at the end of the fourth year preceding the withdrawal year or the preceding year, whichever is lower. Such withdrawals can be made once per financial year.

Tax Benefits of PPF 2023

PPF offers significant tax benefits:

  • Contributions to a PPF account are eligible for deductions under Section 80C of the Income Tax Act up to a maximum of ₹1.5 lakhs per annum.
  • Interest earned on the PPF balance and the maturity amount is tax-free.

Closing a PPF Account

You can close your PPF account upon completing the 15-year tenure. While it cannot be closed prematurely, certain special circumstances, such as life-threatening illnesses, higher education expenses, or a change in residential status, may warrant early closure. You can transfer your PPF account from one branch to another or from a bank to a post office.

PPF vs. Other Investments: Making Informed Choices

Comparing PPF with other investment options, such as mutual funds and fixed deposits, can help you make informed choices. While PPF offers stability and tax benefits, mutual funds provide the potential for higher returns, albeit with market-related risks. Fixed deposits provide guaranteed returns but may lack the tax-saving advantages of PPF.


The Public Provident Fund (PPF) is a testament to India’s commitment to secure long-term savings and tax-saving opportunities. While it may not offer the highest returns, its stability, tax benefits, and risk-free nature make it an ideal choice for those seeking secure financial growth. By understanding the intricacies of PPF, you can harness its potential to build a strong financial foundation for yourself and your loved ones.


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