I need to manage multiple PPF accounts of the family. There were all put in a local post office. After I moved to different part of the city, it was hassle to travel to the post office to manage the account. The agent who helped us with this work also confirmed that post office no longer gives any incentive to him. Hence, it is not worth for him also. I decided to explore transfer of the PPF account to a public or private bank.
ICICI bank was advertising for some time that people can open PPF account with them. but post office people refused to transfer to a private bank. They mentioned that they do not have any directive to do the transfer to a private bank. I have an option to transfer to another post office or a public bank like SBI. I found out that the SBI bank near my home provided the PPF account facility. Note: not all branches of the SBI provide PPF account facility. It is good to locate a public bank branch near your home. Further – public banks also do not operate hassle free. if you have an existing relation like FDs etc. with the branch that will help. In my case, I had existing relation with the SBI near my home.
My personal agent was of great help and guidance to finish the transfer. First transfer took order of months and multiple follow ups. He provided us with the transfer form which needs to be filled in multiple of 3. Following needs to be submitted to the post master of the office.
- transfer forms – 3 copies – afair.
- SBI branch details on a place paper including – branch code, location, and address. branch code needs to be obtained from the branch or their website.
- PPF passbook
- self attested Xerox of the photo identity like passport, voter id or pan card – name need to match the name on your PPF pass book.
I had kept the Xerox copy of the passbook and the transfer form for my reference. once this is submitted, post master gives you the counter foil of the transfer form and process is kick started. You will be informed that the cheque along with passbook and other details will be sent by post to your bank address. There is no transparency about the status or progress in the process after this. In our case, our agent came to rescue to get the insider information and move the file ahead. Process – as far as I understood – is this
- Post master updates your passbook including interest. Sends to the higher up post officer for the approval and release cheque.
- The approving post officer verifies the details, approves, makes the cheque and send everything by post to the bank.
Our agent has helped with following:
- Followed up and confirmed when the file was sent to the approving officer.
- Approving officer was on leave. I got to know through him when there was delay in the process.
- He followed up again to ensure that the approval was through and documents were posted to the bank.
I had mentioned to the bank officer earlier regarding this. I checked a week after and found that the documents were received by them. It took 3 days to get the cheque credit and another 1-2 days to finish the account opening formality – like filling the form with 2- passport size photos and identity proof. You can apply and get the online access for the PPF account in SBI as well. That took additional week. bank process will take 3-4 visits in total.
I transferred only one account to test the process. Later, I initiated transfer of 2 more accounts and this got done in shorter time without less of the agent follow up.
- It is good to initiate the transfer after march when the FY interest is credited. There was confusion across who needs to the pay the interest in my case when the transfer when done mid year. I could resolve that matter yet. I was told by agent that for PPF interest is credited once a year and bank will give me for the whole year. I stopped following up on this. I need to check now whether I got the credit of interest for the whole year or not.
- If you have a good relation with your agent for your post office PPF account, it is good to seek his help and go through him. otherwise, process may work but like I mentioned there is no official way to know status and progress.
- Do not have high expectation. Have patience. Expect 1-2 month for the whole process. Follow up weekly.
- Choose a bank near you; otherwise hassles do not go down.
- Bank passbook is computer managed. It exudes more confidence than hand written post office passbook;) It probably gives you more peace of mind as well unless you like doing math of numbers like computing interest – and manually tracking – manual entries in passbook – for fun.
- Deposit into your PPF account in SBI is a two step process; you fill a challan along with your deposit cheque; you visit after 4-5 days to claim credit of the cheque, and get your passbook updated.