Renewing my PPF account

I have a PPF account with SBI which I had started on 26th December 1998.  (You will ask me, why does the date matter - but therein lies the purpose of this blog  The tenure of a PPF account is 15 years after which it can be withdrawn or renewed for a further period of 5 years.

I went to the Vibuthipura Branch of SBI (where I have my PPF account) on 1st Jan 2014 with the intent to renew the account.  (By simple mathematics, my account had completed 15 years on 26th December 2013).

The Manager was on leave.  The officer-in-charge thought a bit, looked around and said "We don't have the form for renewal.  Why don't you give us a request letter?"

I borrowed a paper, wrote a request and gave it to the staff.  She asked me to specify my cell number so that she can contact, if required.

Subsequently, I googled around and found that one needed to fill a specific form to seek extension of PPF account.  If it is SBI, it is this form, while in case of Post Office, it is this.  I took a printout and filled it up, just in case.

I did not get a call from the Bank and did not have the time to follow-up till Fri, 31st Jan.  This time the Manager was around.  I went to the staff to whom I had given the letter.

"Has my PPF account been renewed?" I asked.
"No", she said.  "You need to fill a form."
"But you did not call me and update".  No response.

The lady searched all her drawers trying to locate the form, which she claimed she had got.  I then said, "I downloaded the form from your website and have filled it."

She looked at the form, thought for a bit and then decided to accept it.  She clicked a few keys on the computer keyboard and then announced, "Your account is not yet mature".

"Pardon me?", said I, "it is more than 15 years".

"Looks like it isn't", she said and took a calculator.  I could not believe it!  Such a simple calculation (1998 + 15 = 2013) and we needed to resort to the calculator.

When the calculator revealed the truth, she realized that it was indeed more than 15 years.  Then she said "Sir, the system refuses to extend it.  Can you please talk to the Manager?"

I haven't had the best of interactions with the Manager (see here and here), but did I have a choice?  I went into her cabin.  She was free (which usually Managers are not).  I repeated the facts of the case and she tried the same exercise that her staff had tried in vain.  "It has not expired", she said and took a piece of paper.  She wrote today's date and under that wrote the starting date of my PPF account  - the way one writes to subtract one number from the other!

If I thought the staff had some difficulty in mathematics, the Manager went one step further!  "Surely, this isn't that complicated?" I said.  She reluctantly came to the conclusion that the account was indeed more than 15 years.

"We will extend it, sir", said she.  I said, "Well! I applied for extension on 1 Jan.  You were supposed to call me, if it was not done.  Can I trust you to do it this time?"

She thought a bit and decided to call a number.  A minute's conversation ensued before she said,"Sir, your PPF account will mature only at the end of the financial year - that is 31 March 2014."  

No wonder the system was not allowing the extension.  But it had not bothered to give an explanation - that needed a human intervention.  And where was this rule documented?  Nowhere in the web to the extent that I searched google!


  1. Did your PPF account get renewed after March 2014? I have a PPF account opened in Jan 1999 in a post office. I requested for a renewal in April 2014. Got a similar reply "The account has not matured. The system refuses to extend it".

  2. As per PPF rules, while calculating the 15-year maturity period of PPF a/c, the FY in which the a/c is opened is not included. The rule is documented here :

    So in the case of Raghuram, for his a/c opened in FY 1998-99, the calculation is 1999 + 15 = 2014 and a/c will mature on 31-3-2014 (as the manager finally deduced correctly).

    Same for the case of Anonymous, whose account was also opened in FY 1998-99. But if the system does not allow extension, seems to be a bug.


Post a Comment