The Employee Provident Fund, or provident fund as it is normally referred to, is a retirement benefit scheme that is available to salaried employees.
Under this scheme, a stipulated amount (currently 12%) is deducted from the employee's salary and contributed towards the fund. This amount is decided by the government.
The employer also contributes an equal amount to the fund.
However, an employee can contribute more than the stipulated amount if the scheme allows for it. So, let's say the employee decides 15% must be deducted towards the EPF. In this case, the employer is not obligated to pay any contribution over and above the amount as stipulated, which is 12%.
The Public Provident Fund has been established by the central government. You can voluntarily decide to open one. You need not be a salaried individual, you could be a consultant, a freelancer or even working on a contract basis. You can also open this account if you are not earning.
Any individual can open a PPF account in any nationalised bank or its branches that handle PPF accounts. You can also open it at the head post office or certain select post offices.
The minimum amount to be deposited in this account is Rs 500 per year. The maximum amount you can deposit every year is Rs 70,000.
thier is no difference between pf and ppf as i think