• FD Vs PF, EPF, VPF

    Money, it is that one thing around which our lives and the world revolve. Everything we do in our lives is either directly or indirectly connected to the act of earning, saving or spending money, with money ruling the roost in our day to day activities. Money is the harbinger of news, sometimes good and sometimes bad, turning normal people into Gods, wielding power like no other weapon. The fact is that there is no modern world without money, unless we are all willing to give it all up and lead the life of a hermit.

    So we work hard to earn money, putting in blood, sweat and tears to life a decent life, but the thing about money is that it somehow evades us when we need it most. A good savings plan can offer some comfort, helping us believe that there is a back-up in case of financial emergencies, but finding the right back-up can be a difficult task. Money is hard to earn and easy to spend, so a good savings plan could mean the difference between a peaceful retirement and a tension filled life.

    Fixed Deposits and Provident Funds are two popular investment and saving tools in India, both offering multiple benefits to people. Provident Funds are government supported retirement planning schemes, wherein individuals have the opportunity to invest in different kinds of provident funds. The Employee Provident Fund (EPF) and Voluntary Provident Fund (VPF) are two popular Provident Fund investment modes in India.

    So which investment opportunity is better? FD, EPF or VPF? The following points could possibly help YOUR money hold its value during financial needs.

    Know the terms

    Fixed Deposits are accounts offered by banks wherein individuals can deposit money into the account for a particular time period. These deposits are generally payable only when the term is completed.

    Employee Provident Fund is a provident fund for employees of companies, which is designed to provide financial stability post retirement.

    Voluntary Provident Fund is a provident fund wherein individuals can choose to voluntarily contribute some percentage of their salary towards it.

    Eligibility

    Fixed Deposits – FDs can be opened by all residents, including minors, if they meet the eligibility criteria of the bank they wish to apply in. A few companies offer Company Fixed Deposit, which are open to individuals and are governed by the rules of the company.

    EPF – Individuals who are employees of organisations are eligible to open an Employee Provident Fund account.

    VPF – Only salaried individuals can open a Voluntary Provident Fund account.

    Investment / Lock in period

    The lock in period refers to the time duration involved for a particular investment to reach its maturity value.

    FD – The Investment / Lock in period for FDs depends on the needs and requirements of the individual account holder. The investment term could range from 7 days to 10 years, offering flexibility and ease of handling to the investor.

    EPF – The EPF is active till the individual concerned is an employee of the organisation. The invested amount can be paid either at retirement or on resignation.

    VPF – This account is active till the individual is an employee of the organisation. The invested amount can be paid either at retirement or on resignation.

    Thus FDs offer ease and flexibility in terms of investment period compared to EPFs and VPFs.

    Interest Rates

    The interest rate offered on investments is often the biggest deciding factor when choosing which option to pick. Bank fixed deposits offer interest rates ranging between 8.5 to 9% per annum, with company fixed deposits offering much higher rates, often ranging between 12-13% per annum. The interest rates are fixed by the individual bank or company concerned and often reflect the competitive nature of business.

    The interest rates for PFs, including EPF and VPF are fixed by the government and currently stand at 8.75% per annum. These rates can be revised only by the government at its sole discretion.

    Tax Benefits

    It so happens that we often feel reluctant to part with our hard earned money, but paying tax is the duty of every individual who falls in the tax bracket. While one cannot avoid tax completely, FDs and PFs offer us the chance to reduce our tax burden to an extent. Individuals can claim deduction under section 80C of the Income Tax Act in case of Tax Saving Fixed Deposits, with the maximum deduction being Rs. 1.5 lakh.

    Investments towards EPF and VPF are also eligible for deduction under Section 80C. Withdrawals from EPF are, however, taxed if the individual has been employed with the same employer for less than 5 years.

    Investment amount/contribution

    Planning for the future is an extremely crucial aspect of investing and miscalculating the investment amount could leave us hanging in the future. FDs have no limit on the investment amount, with the investments depending on the capability of the individual concerned. Some banks are open to investments running into crores, with the investment amounts being subject to the policies followed by the banks.

    In case of EPF, both the employer and employee are expected to contribute 12% of the basic and DA every month. The contribution can be increased as per the needs of the employee. In VPFs the employee can choose the amount he/she wishes to invest, as a percentage of their DA and Basic Salary, with no contribution from the employer. Contributions to VPF are voluntary and are up to the individual concerned.

    Premature withdrawals

    Most banks allow premature withdrawals of Fixed Deposits, subject to the policies of the bank and can charge a certain fine on such premature withdrawals.

    Premature withdrawals are permitted for EPF and VPF, though premature withdrawal of EPF with service less than five years would attract tax deductions, ranging from 20% to 34%, depending on certain conditions.

    Loans

    Financial emergencies can arise at any moment and loans can often quell them temporarily. Most banks offer an overdraft facility against FDs, with the loan amount being as high as 90% of the amount in the FD. The interest rate on these loans is generally 1-2% higher than the current interest rate being paid on the FD.

    Individuals can avail loans against their EPF/PPF amount, subject to them meeting certain criteria. Loans against these are available only for 9 reasons, education, marriage, medical treatment, home purchase, home modifications, lockouts, home-loan payments, calamities and if the individual needs money one year before his/her retirement.

    The table below mentions the differences between FDs, EPFs and VPFs.

    Criteria FD EPF VPF
    Eligibility Open to all Only Salaried Individuals Only Salaried Individuals
    Investment Period 7 days to 10 years Till retirement or resignation Till retirement or resignation
    Interest Rates (Per annum) 8.5-9% for bank FDs and 12-13% for company FDs 8.75% 8.75%
    Tax Benefits Available under Section 80C Available under Section 80C Available under Section 80C
    Investment Amount Flexible 12% Basic + DA by both employee and employer Voluntary
    Premature Withdrawals Available Available Available
    Loans Available Available for certain needs Available for certain needs

    FD or PFs? Where to invest?

    Investments should be done keeping in mind future requirements and current income, and both FDs and PFs (EPF and VPF) offer excellent features to investors. FDs can be an additional investment for individuals above their investments in EPF or VPF. For non-salaried individuals, an FD is the best form of investment as they are not eligible to invest in EPF and VPF.

    FDs offer more convenience and flexibility in terms of the investment amount and individuals can customise it to suit their financial needs, with the higher interest rate helping their money grow faster when compared to EPF or VPF. The investment term options make FDs more attractive, as the term can be chosen based on current needs, allowing people the opportunity to financially plan for even short term needs, which is hard to do in case of EPF and VPF.

    Conclusion

    A lifetime of hard work could dematerialize in one reckless moment and life isn’t always kind to provide second chances. Investing in the right plan ensures safety of not just your money but also your family and way of life. FDs, EPFs and VPFs are unique in their own way, and not investing in them could come back to haunt us. They help our money grow with us, so that we can have something to fall back to in our old age or times of distress.

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    FD Vs PF, EPF, VPF Reviews

    • ICICI Bank Fixed Deposit
      "Customer centrice & User friendly app"
      0.5 4.0/5 "Great!"
      I am doing Fixed Deposit with ICICI BANK and its been around 5years. They haven't been paying good interest and its more or less same like other banks as I used to hold my salary account with ICICI, I have decided to be with one bank. There is no locking period and its flexible. They do give good support and the app is user friendly. Even deposit account can be opened through i-mobile or net banking itself.
      Was this review helpful? 0
      , nasik
      Reviewed on Oct 15, 2019
    • SBI
      SBI Fixed Deposit
      "Good"
      0.5 3.0/5 "Satisfactory"
      I had a Fixed Deposit in State Bank of India, I have completed the tenure before 3months ago. I have no issues with the customer service. They are given me 7% interest rate for 2years. There is no profit and processing fee. I got an online access, where I can check the interest rate anytime on the YONO app or else SBI online.
      Was this review helpful? 0
      , tirupati
      Reviewed on Oct 15, 2019
    • SBI Fixed Deposit
      "Interest charges are good. "
      0.5 3.0/5 "Satisfactory"
      I have invested some money through FD. My salary account is in SBI so i have a zero ATM charges and the limit is not actually set by SBI. They do have short term FDs which is pretty good. I have invested the money of Rs. 60000 and the interest rate is 10.01% for the tenure period of 16 months. There is no lockin period. There is no hassle to getting the money back.
      Was this review helpful? 6
      , kolkata
      Reviewed on Oct 01, 2019
    • Dena Bank Fixed Deposit
      "Good plan for senior citizen"
      0.5 2.0/5 "Expected more"
      I have invested the money in Dena bank through Fixed deposit and the growth is not that much good. They are not taking any hidden charges. Only because of the Government undertaken bank, i have selected them. They are providing a interest rate of 6% per annum. I have invested the money of Rs. 2 lakhs. There is a lockin period of 1 year.
      Was this review helpful? 2
      , new delhi
      Reviewed on Sep 24, 2019
    • Axis Bank Fixed Deposit
      "Interest should be increased for FD"
      0.5 3.0/5 "Satisfactory"
      I have opt for fixed deposit for the tax saving purpose because I have chosen five years tenure with AXIS Bank, still its going on. Only once I Invested my money it has the locking period of five years. I have option to check my transactions through mobile app. But I have concern about the interest rate is very lesser for this FD.
      Was this review helpful? 5
      , hyderabad
      Reviewed on Sep 19, 2019
    • SBI Fixed Deposit
      "FD process should be simpler"
      0.5 1.0/5 "Really Bad"
      I had fixed deposit with SBI then I withdrawn the amount, I done Rs. 3 lakhs of investment on my daughter name then I taken the liquidity to purchase the land, at the time I struggled a lot to take that money because the process was difficult to withdrawn the money after seven months of tenure.
      Was this review helpful? 15
      , madurai
      Reviewed on Sep 03, 2019
    • Union Bank of India Fixed Deposit
      "Not good"
      0.5 3.0/5 "Satisfactory"
      I had a Fixed Deposit with Union Bank of India and its closed 18 to 19 months due to personal reasons. I am doing investment but my experience is not good with FD account. In my home town, there is no other banks so just decided to go with this bank. The returns are good.
      Was this review helpful? 7
      , bangalore
      Reviewed on Aug 28, 2019
    • HDFC Bank Fixed Deposit
      "Good to go with HDFC"
      0.5 5.0/5 "Blown Away!"
      I have one FD with HDFC, I deposited Rs. 1 lakh, I was opt for 45 days of tenure. Finally I got 6.25% of interest for 45 days. It won't cover the tax, if we need tax benefits we should go for five years term. I can track the details through netbanking, on the maturity date the amount credits automatically in the account. Even the notification can customized.
      Was this review helpful? 7
      , bangalore
      Reviewed on Aug 27, 2019
    • HSBC Bank Fixed Deposit
      "wrong calculation of interest rates"
      0.5 0.5/5 "Unacceptable"
      HSBC staff wrongly pre closed my fixed deposit .. and calculated the interest rates wrongly and when asked them for clarification never got back .. even after following up with them repeatedly for more than 3 months.. would highly recommend not using their services.
      Was this review helpful? 4
      , visakhapatnam
      Reviewed on Aug 24, 2019
    • SBI Fixed Deposit
      "Excellent"
      0.5 5.0/5 "Blown Away!"
      I do have a Fixed deposit account with SBI and it was carried out by Mom and even I have account for my daughter. Its still running and they have Google application separately to access online. The returns are good. I am doing monthly investment and it was opened quite a long may be 4 years.
      Was this review helpful? 9
      , ahmedabad
      Reviewed on Aug 23, 2019
    • ICICI Bank Fixed Deposit
      "Good"
      0.5 5.0/5 "Blown Away!"
      I just opened a Fixed Deposit with ICICI BANK and have not done any survey on this. I am account holder with them so it was easy to do FD account even they are providing 7% interest rate. The process is very user friendly and never faced any hassle. I could access this account via online.
      Was this review helpful? 6
      , new delhi
      Reviewed on Aug 21, 2019
    • Post Office Fixed Deposit
      "Good for future"
      0.5 3.0/5 "Satisfactory"
      In post office rate of interest is higher for the fixed deposit when compared to the bank, I invested Rs. 5000 on monthly basis its comes in a year Rs. 60,000 after 5 years I got Rs. 3.75,000 I got Rs. 75,000 extra. The service is not comfortable if we have any relative who working there it would supportive or else difficult.
      Was this review helpful? 16
      , burdwan
      Reviewed on Aug 09, 2019
    • SBI Fixed Deposit
      "Good for future saving"
      0.5 5.0/5 "Blown Away!"
      I have FD with SBI, I have opt for one year term there is no such limitation for depositing the money. The interest rate is good for the FD, the online banking is convenient to take liquidity. They resolve the queries on time. Its most safe and secured.
      Was this review helpful? 4
      , visakhapatnam
      Reviewed on Aug 08, 2019
    • SBI Fixed Deposit
      "Average"
      0.5 4.0/5 "Great!"
      I have selected state bnak of indis fixed deposit amount 1 lakhs , Tenure 5 years and Rate of interest 8 percentage after renewal fixed deposit 6 percentage is very less .while document directly bank . Customer service is not good and responsive.
      Was this review helpful? 8
      , kochi
      Reviewed on Aug 05, 2019
    • Kotak Fixed Deposit
      "Excellent Banking"
      0.5 5.0/5 "Blown Away!"
      I activated FD account with Kotak, I have been maintaining this account since when I opened saving account, I converted Rs. 5000 for one year. They are providing interest around 7.6% per annum, the online netbanking and mobile app is very convenient for deposit to FD.
      Was this review helpful? 5
      , mumbai
      Reviewed on Aug 03, 2019
    • ICICI Bank Fixed Deposit
      "Good"
      0.5 4.0/5 "Great!"
      I have invested my FD with ICICI BANK and also have a 3in1 account with them. The interest rate is pretty good. Recently started before 6months, I can do premature withdrawal and also have selected a locking period of 3 years. The customer service is good and overall am satisfied with this bank.
      Was this review helpful? 4
      , mumbai
      Reviewed on Aug 01, 2019
    • Post Office Fixed Deposit
      "Safe and Secured"
      0.5 4.0/5 "Great!"
      My Post office branch is located in own campus hence there is no queue. I opened the fixed deposit, I made one time investment for five years its has tax exemption. They are providing 7% of interest for per annum. I believe it has online access as well.
      Was this review helpful? 13
      , bangalore
      Reviewed on Aug 01, 2019
    • SBI Fixed Deposit
      "Too much good scheme"
      0.5 5.0/5 "Blown Away!"
      Chosen my fixed deposit from State bank of India. I have invested the money of Rs. 57000 and SBI is a most popular bank all over the India and offering all the facilities compared to bank. Since i have a salary account with them, its easy to transfer the money. They are providing the interest rate of 6.5%.
      Was this review helpful? 7
      , kolkata
      Reviewed on Jul 31, 2019
    • Union Bank of India Fixed Deposit
      "Good Investment"
      0.5 4.0/5 "Great!"
      Union of India fixed deposit is same as other investment. Being an existing customer I have opt for one year of fd, the online banking feature is good to open and closing the account, they was no charges for the liquidity of fund before the maturity.
      Was this review helpful? 2
      , mumbai
      Reviewed on Jul 29, 2019
    • SBI Fixed Deposit
      "Good investment plan"
      0.5 4.0/5 "Great!"
      Chosen my fixed deposit from state bank of India because the given rate of interest is high. They are not deducting any service charges. I have invested the money of Rs. 1 lakhs and there is no lockin period and i have chosen the plan for 1 year and they are giving a interest rate of 6.75%.
      Was this review helpful? 10
      , bangalore
      Reviewed on Jul 25, 2019
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