What is SWP in Mutual Funds?

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  • 03 Aug 2023

Systematic planning and disciplined investment strategies play a crucial role when achieving financial independence. One such method that has gained popularity in recent years is the Systematic Withdrawal Plan (SWP) in mutual funds.

A Systematic Withdrawal Plan (SWP) is a unique investment strategy offered by mutual funds that allow you to withdraw a fixed or variable amount from your investments at regular intervals. It directly contrasts to a Systematic Investment Plan (SIP), where you deposit a fixed sum regularly into their investment accounts.

With an SWP, you can create a consistent income stream to meet your financial needs, such as monthly expenses during retirement, without liquidating your entire investment.

The mechanics of a Systematic Withdrawal Plan are relatively straightforward. First, you must invest a lump sum or make regular contributions into a mutual fund scheme of your choice. The investment is then subject to appreciation and returns generated by the fund. Next, you can choose a specific withdrawal frequency, such as monthly, quarterly, or annually, along with the withdrawal amount.

For instance, let's assume you have invested Rs. 1 lakh in a mutual fund and set up an SWP with a monthly withdrawal frequency of Rs. 1,000. Depending on the fund's performance, you will receive Rs. 1,000 each month until the invested capital is exhausted or the SWP is terminated.

  1. Regular Income Stream: SWP provides investors with a consistent income stream, making it an ideal option for retirees who require a reliable source of income post-retirement.

  2. Capital Preservation: Unlike lump-sum withdrawals, SWP allows investors to maintain their investment positions and benefit from potential market gains, thereby preserving their capital.

  3. Flexibility and Control: Investors can customize their SWP based on their financial needs, adjusting the withdrawal amount and frequency as per their changing circumstances.

  4. Psychological Comfort: SWP can offer peace of mind, eliminating the need for frequent portfolio monitoring and decision-making during retirement.

Tax Implications of SWP

The taxation regulations remain constant and are contingent upon whether the fund falls under the category of equity or non-equity funds. Equity funds invest at least 65 percent in domestic equities, whereas the remaining funds are classified as non-equity funds. The tax implications are as follows:

  • Equity funds: Investment gains withdrawn within 12 months are categorized as short-term capital gains and subjected to a 15% tax rate. On the other hand, gains from investments withdrawn after 12 months are considered long-term capital gains and taxed at a rate of 10%. Additionally, for equities, long-term capital gains of up to Rs 1 lakh are eligible for exemption from taxation in each financial year.

  • Non-equity funds: After considering the indexation benefit, investments held for a duration exceeding three years fall under the category of LTCG and are subject to a 20% tax rate. However, if these investments are sold within three years, the resulting gains are included in the individual's taxable income and taxed according to the applicable income tax slab rates.

Essential Things to Keep in Mind

  • Financial Goals and Needs: Clearly define your financial goals and identify your specific needs for a regular income. Whether it's funding retirement expenses, covering living costs, or supporting a specific financial objective, understanding your requirements will help determine the appropriate withdrawal amount.

  • Risk Tolerance: Assess your risk tolerance carefully before setting up an SWP. Since SWP involves remaining invested in the market, fluctuations may impact the value of your investments. Make sure the level of risk you can bear aligns with your investment choices.

  • Investment Portfolio: Evaluate your investment portfolio to ensure it is well-diversified and suits your risk profile. Having a mix of assets can help in mitigating risks and enhancing returns. The success of an SWP partly relies on the performance of the underlying investments.

  • Withdrawal Amount and Frequency: Determine the withdrawal amount and frequency that best suits your financial needs. Be cautious not to withdraw too much or too little to avoid depleting your investment corpus too quickly or not meeting your expenses adequately.

  • Fund Selection: Determine the withdrawal amount and frequency that best suits your financial needs. Avoid withdrawing too much or too little to avoid depleting your investment corpus too quickly or not meeting your expenses adequately.

To Conclude

A Systematic Withdrawal Plan (SWP) is a well-structured investment approach that offers financial security and a regular income stream to investors, particularly retirees. By intelligently managing their withdrawal amounts and selecting suitable mutual funds, you can strike a balance between income generation and capital preservation.

However, you must carefully analyze your financial goals, risk tolerance, and market conditions before embarking on an SWP journey. When used wisely, SWP can be a powerful tool on the path to financial freedom.


Systematic Withdrawal Plans (SWP) offer a significant advantage to investors seeking liquidity, allowing them to access their funds precisely when required. This enhanced accessibility empowers investors to seamlessly execute their financial plans and achieve their goals easily and conveniently.

The primary benefit of a Systematic Withdrawal Plan (SWP) lies in its ability to offer a consistent income stream, making it particularly advantageous for individuals seeking regular earnings from their investments, such as retirees. Furthermore, SWPs eliminate the need to sell all investments simultaneously, reducing the risk of poor market performance.

Within a Systematic Withdrawal Plan (SWP), investors can tailor the plan to their specific requirements. This includes the flexibility to select the withdrawal amount, frequency, and preferred withdrawal dates. Furthermore, investors can terminate the SWP whenever they choose or modify it by adding additional investments or making withdrawals beyond the fixed SWP amount. The SWP empowers investors with control and adaptability, allowing them to align their financial strategy with their changing needs and circumstances.

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