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Voluntary Provident Fund (VPF): A Comprehensive Guide


Voluntary Provident Fund (VPF)

The Voluntary Provident Fund (VPF) serves as a crucial financial instrument for salaried employees, offering an opportunity to enhance their savings beyond the mandatory contributions to the Employees Provident Fund (EPF). In this article, we delve into the intricacies of the VPF, exploring its features, benefits, tax implications, and comparisons with other investment options.

Overview of Voluntary Provident Fund

The VPF, also known as the Voluntary Retirement Fund, represents an additional contribution made by employees towards their Provident Fund (PF) accounts. Unlike the EPF, the VPF allows contributions of up to 100% of Basic Salary and Dearness Allowance. Notably, this voluntary contribution is subject to a lock-in period of five years.

Who Can Invest in VPF?

Exclusive to salaried individuals receiving monthly payments through specific salary accounts, the VPF is an extension of the EPF and is not mandatory for employers to contribute. The decision to contribute to the VPF rests solely with the employee, and once chosen, the contribution commitment remains fixed for the initial five years.

Benefits of Voluntary Provident Fund:

  1. Safe Investment Option: Managed by the Government of India, the VPF is considered a secure, low-risk investment with fixed interest accrual, distinguishing it from riskier long-term investments offered by private players.
  2. Easy to Apply: Opening a VPF account is a streamlined process. Employees can approach their HR/Finance teams to initiate an additional contribution through a registration form, utilizing their existing EPF accounts.
  3. High Returns: With an attractive interest rate of 8.5% per annum (as of 2023-24), contributions and interest accrued up to 1.5 lakhs per annum are exempt from tax under Section 80C, ensuring substantial returns in the long run.
  4. Easy Transfer: The VPF account facilitates seamless transfers between employers when changing jobs, providing continuity in savings.

How to Open a VPF Account?

Employees interested in opening a VPF account must submit a written request to their employer or HR department. Personal information and the monthly contribution amount from the basic salary towards the VPF account should be provided. The VPF account can be initiated at any point in the financial year.

VPF Interest Rate and Tax Benefits

The VPF interest rate, set by the Indian Government, is revised annually. For the financial year 2023-24, it stands at 8.15%. Notably, VPF falls under the EEE category, making it an excellent tax-saving option. Contributions, interest, and maturity proceeds are tax-exempt when withdrawn after a minimum of five years.

VPF Contribution and Withdrawal Rules

While there is no maximum or minimum contribution limit, employees can contribute up to 100% of their monthly income. The VPF allows partial withdrawals for specified purposes, such as medical emergencies, education expenses, or buying a house. The lock-in period for a VPF account is five years, and early withdrawals may incur taxation.

Checking VPF Balance

Employees can conveniently check their VPF balance online through the official EPFO website by accessing the Member Passbook option under the ‘Our Services’ tab.

EPF vs VPF vs NPS: A Comparative Analysis:

Particulars EPF VPF NPS
Eligibility Any salaried individual Any salaried individual having an EPF account All citizens of India, whether resident or non-resident, between 18-60 years
Rate of Interest 8.15% 8.15% 9% to 12%
Employer Contribution 12% of basic salary + dearness allowance No contribution Optional for private companies
Employee Contribution 12% of basic salary + dearness allowance Up to 100% of basic salary + dearness allowance 10% of basic salary + dearness allowance
Period of Investment Till retirement or unemployment Earlier of the below: Five years or Unemployment Till retirement Till retirement or unemployment
Tax Benefits Tax deduction on contributions up to Rs.1.5 lakh under Section 80C Tax deduction on contributions up to Rs.1.5 lakh under Section 80C Tax deduction up to Rs.1.5 lakh under Section 80CCE and 80CCD(2)
Partial Withdrawal Allowed for specified purposes Allowed for specified purposes Allowed for specified purposes after three years of investment


In conclusion, the Voluntary Provident Fund emerges as a powerful savings tool for salaried individuals, offering a secure, government-backed avenue with attractive returns and tax benefits. Understanding its nuances empowers employees to make informed financial decisions and secure future financial well-being.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Is VPF mandatory for all salaried individuals?

No, VPF is voluntary. Employees can choose to contribute beyond the mandatory EPF.

2. What is the current interest rate on VPF?

As of 2023-24, the VPF interest rate is 8.15% per annum.

3. Can I withdraw from my VPF account before five years?

Partial withdrawals are allowed for specific purposes; however, complete withdrawals are subject to a five-year lock-in.

4. How do you transfer a VPF account when changing jobs?

VPF accounts are linked to Aadhar Card, simplifying the transfer process between employers.

5. Are there tax benefits for VPF contributions?

Yes, under Section 80C, contributions up to Rs.1.5 lakh are eligible for tax deduction.

6. Is there a maximum contribution limit for VPF?

No, individuals can contribute up to 100% of their basic salary and dearness allowance.

7. What happens if I withdraw from VPF within five years?

Withdrawals within five years are taxable; however, after the lock-in period, maturity proceeds are tax-exempt.

8. Can I check my VPF balance online?

Yes, use the EPFO website’s Member Passbook option to view details of your VPF account.

9. Is VPF better than the Public Provident Fund (PPF)?

VPF often offers a higher interest rate, and funds can be withdrawn after five years, making it more flexible compared to the 15-year lock-in period of PPF.

10. Who is eligible to open a VPF account?

Salaried employees with an EPF account and receiving monthly payments through a salary account are eligible for VPF.


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