Recently the PPF closure rules got changed and now a PPF account can be closed prematurely after 5 yrs itself, but only in some conditions which we will see in this article.
Till now, as per the old rules, the PPF account had a lock in period of 15 yrs, and in no case it was possible to close the account other than the death of the subscriber itself.
So death was the only valid reason to close the PPF account before 15 yrs maturity period.
PPF premature closure rules
As per the recent rule change by the govt, ppf closure before 15 years is now possible. You can close a PPF account if it’s at least 5 yrs old, in following 3 cases
Case #1 – Death
If the PPF holder dies, then the account can be closed anytime (even before 5 yrs) and the nominee/legal heirs can claim the amount from Govt.
Case #2 – Life Threatening illness
The PPF account can also be closed in case, the money is required for curing the serious ailment or a life threatening disease of following people
- PPF subscriber himself/herself
- Dependent Children
- Dependent Parents
Note that one has to provide the documentary evidence from a competent medical authority. So you will need to share the proof that you need to undergo some big treatment/surgery etc and you will need money for that.
Case #3 – Higher Education
If money is required for the higher education for the PPF subscriber or the minor on whose name the account is opened, then one can pre-close the PPF account. However one has to produce the fee bills and the proof of admission or any other documentary evidence.
Here are the exact notification wordings
Penalty of 1% when you close PPF account before maturity
This pre-close feature comes with a penalty of 1% of interest for each year. What it means is that for all the years since your PPF account is opened, you will get 1% less interest for each year. So if you earned 8.7% for a particular year, your calculation will be done @7.7% and this way for each period 1% will be reduced.
Govt has issued an example calculation for penalty of 1% . But the question now is does 1% penalty mean 1% less amount in final corpus after pre-closure?
No, the answer is 4.88% !
Yes, You get 4.88% less corpus due to this pre-closure penalty of 1% . But this is true for that example only which is given by govt in their notification. I went deeper and did the exact calculation and here are the results.
The reason why there is a good amount of difference is that there is the compounding of penalty in this example. If you check the balances in 3rd year, you will see there is difference of 2.1% . And it keeps on increasing as the number of years increase.
Which means, Older the PPF account, the higher is the final penalty for you.
It does not make a lot of sense to close the PPF account before maturity once 10 yrs is passed, as the penalty will be higher than 4-5% if most of the cases.
PPF pre-closure rule will help investors
PPF is one of the widely popular financial products in India. Majority of families have at least one PPF account and given it’s a long term product, there is a good amount of money lying in it. Now with this new pre-closure rule, an investor gets the benefit of closing the PPF account if they want to do it.
But the only issue is that it’s not an emergency solution to the problem as the documentation requirement is there and being a govt product, you can expect a slow response while closing down the PPF account and using the money.
Please share what do you feel about this new change in PPF closure rules?