Almost all the working class population has one question that keeps lingering in their minds, “What are we going to do after our retirement?” We all work until we are able bodies but after our retirement, how are we going to manage our life? One of the solutions to this problem is saving while we work. And here comes the next question, where can we do it and which is the most trusted and reliable place for having an investment? There are various ways one can make their savings but when we look out for the most trusted source for a long-term saving basis as most of us will be reminded of the Provident Fund Scheme.
This system is more like a pension scheme where the main aim is to provide a retirement benefit for employees. Thus, this is a long-term saving where one can have a portion of their income deposited in this scheme every month or in an annual basis and that amount will be returned to that employee only at the time of his/her retirement. At the time of their retirement, this provident fund will ensure that they have a post-retirement life without any monetary worries.
Another advantage of this provident fund is that this money can never be recovered until the retirement time which will ensure that even in the most hard-hit cases one cannot have this amount in hand. When a person dies, the PF will reach the nominee and in no other case, this money can be recovered in between PF online registration makes it easy for anyone to start a PF account and start saving a small portion of their monthly income.
There is a general myth that Provident fund can only be invested by Government employees and employees working in the private sector will not be eligible for this investment. But that is not the truth.
There are two Provident Fund accounts namely, General Provident Fund Account and Public Provident Fund Account or PFF. General Provident Fund account can be opened only by the government employees and part of their income will be included in this account every month and that lump sum amount will be returned back to them at the time of the employees retirement or at the time of their superannuation. The government has mandated this account for the government employees who are above a certain pay scale. One person can have only one PF account registered online, but however, can have a minor guardian account, but in general, as for an individual, the number of accounts is limited to one. Based on the Provident Fund one can have a loan without any interest.
Public Provident Fund or PFF is more like a savings account which is for 15 years and this account can be opened by any Indian employee irrespective of their work. The amount in the account cannot be withdrawn for that period and one can deposit any amount between 500 to 1.5 lakhs, and any amount above 1.5 lakhs per annum the money deposited will not earn any interest.
Premature withdrawal before the 15 years is not possible. Money deposited and the interest earned for provident fund within the limit is completely exempted from taxation. Thus, this scheme is available to any Indian except NRIs and Hindu Undivided Family.
This scheme works under the Employees’ Provident Fund and Miscellaneous Provisions Act, 1952 which is under the control of the Ministry of Labour and Employment. Any eligible person who wishes to have a saving in this scheme can approach any selected branches or open an account in any nationalised bank or selected post office branches or get a PF registered online. After opening, one will be given a 12-digit Universal Account Number and any amount will be transacted to that account. When the time matures the employees can withdraw the amount without the consent of the employers. In case any person faces trouble in withdrawing he can submit FORM 19 and FORM 10C for Employment Pension Scheme to any Gazetted Officer or Magistrate.
Provident fund is, therefore, more similar to a piggy bank where the person enjoys the same joy as when a child breaks open a full piggy bank. As far as all the long-term investments are concerned, this is more secure and has its control with the Government of India in a direct basis and unlike mutual funds, they are not subjected to any market risk and the amount deposited lies intact as in a locker. Thus, this saving scheme should be employed by all the workers through an easy PF online registration, in order to have a hassle-free retired life.
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