A Provident fund account is a savings account but a savings account is not a PF account. There are some basic differences between them. Which may be summed up as per the under mentioned.
Savings Account – There is no mandate upon this from the Indian Government. But a Savings is controlled by the RBI guidelines.
PF Account – This is absolutely mandatory for all employers not exempted from the PF Act, and have to provide a Provident Fund account to the employees with regular contributions into the account.
Savings Account – No body other than the account holder deposits money into it.
PF Account – Both the account holder and the employer deposits money in to it.
Savings Account – Rate of interest provided on the savings is low, and never goes beyond 5% normally.
PF Account – The rate of interest provided on the deposits in it are as high as 8.5% per annum.
Savings Account – No tax benefit attached to it. Rather at times taxes are charged on the savings in it.
PF Account – There are tax benefits given to the account holder US 80C to the contributor. Also the interests received are tax free.
Savings Account – Can be opened with any bank.
PF Account – Account can be maintained only with the PF office.
Savings Account – Deposits and withdrawals are allowed at will, also instruments like cheque books and debit cards or ATM cards are issued to the account holder by the bank.
PF Account – Bo transaction at will is allowed. Deposits and the amounts are fixed every month and in the form of a mandate by the law of the state.
Savings Account – Online transactions are allowed by the bank.
PF Account – Online facility is not available. Although some states in South India have come up with a portal from where the employees may come to know of the balance in account but apart from the couple there is no such existing facility for the account holder in the rest of India.