While some of the post office savings schemes are attractive, the absence of the option to invest and transact online is a handicap. But the good news is that, it is possible to transfer a few schemes such as the Sukanya Samriddhi Account (SSA) or PPF to banks. Almost all public sector banks and a few private banks such as ICICI Bank, Axis Bank and HDFC Bank offer SSAs. Similarly, many banks, both public and private, offer PPF accounts.

Transfer process The process of transferring the SSA and PPF accounts from a post office to a bank is the same. For both the schemes, a request letter needs to be submitted to the post office first, mentioning the details of the bank to which you want to transfer. For the PPF account alone, you will need to fill the account transfer form SB-10 (b) in addition. You have to surrender the passbook to the post office in both cases. Before doing so, update your passbook and make sure to take a photo copy of your passbook for record purposes. This is because old entries will not be available in the new account with the bank.

Once all this is done, the post office will initiate the process of transfer and close your account. They will send all the relevant documents along with a cheque or demand draft (DD) for the outstanding amount in your account to the concerned bank. When these documents reach the bank branch, you will have to go through the process of opening a new account with the bank.

This will involve filling up the account opening form, providing documents like address proof, identity proof, photographs etc as a part of the Know Your Customer (KYC) process.

The birth certificate of your daughter is an additional document mandated in case of the SSA. Once this is done, a new account will be opened in the bank. You will be provided with a new passbook from the bank and the transfer process will be complete.

Why transfer? The ease of online transaction facility is what motivates most people to consider transferring these accounts from a post office to a bank. Although with post offices you have the option of giving post-dated cheques, you must visit the post office to at least get your passbook updated.

Also, unlike online transfer which is instant, there is a time lag between the cheque getting cleared and the post office updating the same in your account.

Online statements from banks comes handy, especially when we suddenly need a copy of the transactions and find that we haven’t had the time to update the passbook regularly. It is not mandatory to have a savings account in the bank branch to which you are transferring the account.

However, transferring funds online, giving a standing instruction etc could become easy if case if you have all the accounts in the same branch. Naveen Kukreja, CEO & co-founder, Paisabazaar.com says, “Preferably, an individual should transfer his PPF or the SSA to the bank where he maintains the savings account used for routing his various investments”.

Charges and time taken There is no fee involved in this transfer process if you relocate from one city or town to another. However, in case of the SSA, a transfer fee of ₹100 is charged in case if relocation is not the reason for switching the account from one institution to the other. The time take for the transfer will vary as it depends on how fast the post office initiates the process first.

You may have to face the discomfort of visiting the post office and the bank a few times to check.Once the new account is opened, you will be entitled to enjoy the benefit of saving with just a click of a button.