What is an Systematic Withdrawal Plan (SWP) in Mutual Fund?

6 mins read
by Angel One

Just like one can systematically invest in mutual fund plans, he/she can also set up a systematic withdrawal plan to receive a stream of regular income from investment every month on a fixed date. It can be a fixed or a variable amount. It is typically used on retirement and allows investors to withdraw monthly, semi-annually, quarterly, or annually.

Systematic withdrawal plan meaning (SWP)

A systematic withdrawal plan is the opposite of SIP. It allows you to create a series of receivables from your mutual fund investment regularly on a pre-decided date. Unlike lump-sum withdrawal, SWP will enable investors to customise withdrawal from the corpus in a phased way.

You can withdraw the capital gain or a fixed amount, whereas the residue gets reinvested in the scheme. This way, you can stay invested for a long time and receive a regular income. The receipt can be reinvested or used to meet cash requirements.

Let’s understand with an example.

Suppose you invested Rs 100,000 in a mutual fund for one year and decided to withdraw Rs 5000 per month. So every month, your investment amount will get reduced by Rs 5000 and paid to you. The remaining amount after each month will continue to generate returns from the investment.

Benefits of Opting for a Systematic Withdrawal Plan (SWP)

You get to enjoy a plethora of different advantages by opting for a systematic withdrawal plan. Here’s a quick overview of some of the key benefits. 

  • Regular Income 

Systematic withdrawal plans provide you with a regular stream of income, which can be especially useful if you’re looking to supplement your regular income. It can also be useful for retired individuals seeking a steady income source to cover their living expenses. 

  • Disciplined Withdrawal Approach

Systematic withdrawal plans encourage you to adopt a disciplined approach to managing fund withdrawals. For example, you may want to withdraw large sums, if not your entire investment, due to the panic created by bearish market phases. These withdrawal plans can prevent you from making such impulsive decisions based on short-term market fluctuations. 

  • Tax Efficiency 

According to the Income Tax Act of 1961, long-term capital gains exceeding ₹1 lakh in a financial year are taxed at the rate of 10%. However, if the long-term capital gains don’t exceed Rs. 1 lakh in a financial year, you don’t have to pay any tax. 

With the help of a systematic withdrawal plan, you can set up the withdrawals in such a manner that you don’t cross the long-term capital gain threshold of ₹1 lakh in a financial year. This will allow you to avoid tax on your gains within the legal framework. 

  • Rupee-Cost Averaging 

Systematic withdrawal plans let you enjoy the benefit of rupee-cost averaging. When the markets are in a bullish phase, SWPs redeem fewer units. On the contrary, when the markets are falling, the withdrawal plans redeem more units. Such strategic withdrawals average your returns and protect you from losses you may face by redeeming at the wrong time. 

Key features of an SWP

SWP creates regular income by redeeming units at a specified interval. The number of units dissolved will depend upon the NAV value on the withdrawal date.

Here are the key advantages of an SWP scheme


SWP allows investors to select the amount, date, and frequency to receive income from an SWP. Also, one can stop it at any time.

Regular income:

SWP lets mutual funds investors receive a steady income from their investment. Hence, investors needing a stable cash flow for meeting everyday expenses, like the retired investors, can invest in SWP schemes.

Capital appreciation:

The regular withdrawal is less than the returns earned from the investment. Hence, the investors get some capital appreciation in the long run.


There is no TDS deducted on SWP for resident investors.

Who can invest in an SWP?

Investors wanting to create a secondary source of income:

Investors use SWP to create a secondary source of income from their long-term investment. It helps ride over the rising cost of living.

Investors looking for capital protection:

Investors who prefer protection over returns can invest in low or medium-risk mutual funds and receive the capital gain as a regular fixed income.

Investors need a retirement income:

Investors can use an SWP scheme as a pension income by investing a retirement corpus in mutual funds. They can select a scheme based on their risk appetite and the frequency to receive payment from the capital gain.

Investors in the high tax bracket:

Individuals at the higher tax bracket can invest as there is no TDS deduction on investment. The capital gain from the equity funds are also moderately taxed, and so are the debt funds after applying indexation.

Why is SWP a good investment?

As an investor, you may know that market fluctuations can directly impact your returns from mutual funds investment. Meaning, it affects the NAV and lowers the value of the asset if not withdrawn on time.

With an SWP plan, you can withdraw as per your financial needs. If your goal requires funding in a phased manner, you can facilitate cash requirements with an SWP.

An SWP can help protect the value of your investment, especially when the market is choppy, with regular withdrawals.

Secondly, investors who want to plan their retirement income can do so with an SWP plan. It allows them to receive fixed income regularly on a fixed date to meet cash expenses.

How can you withdraw from SWP?  

SWP in mutual funds allows investors to customise their withdrawal plans. Individuals can receive a specified amount monthly, half-yearly, quarterly, or annually. You can withdraw only the appreciated amount with appreciation withdrawal while your principal amount remains invested to earn returns.

How does an SWP work?

One important thing to understand is that SWP isn’t quite like a fixed deposit. With a fixed deposit, your principal amount remains unaffected by market fluctuations. But, for SWP in mutual funds, the NAV value fluctuates with the rise and fall in the market, impacting your investment’s final value. It also reduces by the number of units redeemed with every withdrawal.

Let’s say you have 10000 units in your mutual fund scheme, and you wish to withdraw Rs 5000 monthly. In the first month, if the NAV value is Rs 10, you need to redeem 500 units to receive Rs 5000. Your invested units get reduced by (10000-500) or 9500.

Now in the second month, let’s assume the NAV value increases to Rs 25, then you will have to redeem 200 units to get Rs 5000. So, after the second month, you will have (9500-200) or 9300 units in your mutual fund. Hence, with every withdrawal, the investment value will reduce, which will impact the final returns on investment.

Taxation of SWP mutual funds

Withdrawals from SWP are subject to taxation. The capital gain realised from investing in debt funds for less than 36 months will get added to the total income. If the investment period stretches over 3 years, a 20 percent capital gain tax will apply after indexation.

In the case of equity funds, a 15 percent short-term capital gain tax will apply for a holding period of less than a year. On the other hand, if you invest over a year, the applied tax rate is 10 percent without indexation.

Key takeaways

  • A systematic withdrawal plan allows investors to customise and create a second income stream from their mutual fund investment.
  • Investors receive returns on a specific date either by a fixed amount or variable.
  • Investors who don’t receive a pension can use SWP as retirement income.
  • SWP helps individuals in the higher tax bracket. There is no TDS deducted on the SWP withdrawal. The capital gain from equity fund investment is taxed at a lower rate, and debt funds are taxed at 20 percent after applying indexation.

 The bottom line

Understanding your options in selecting an SWP can take time. Therefore, we suggest you evaluate all your options before investing. Most of the mutual funds will allow you to establish a systematic withdrawal plan.

Related Mutual Fund Articles


What is SWP in mutual funds?

A systematic withdrawal plan or SWP is a mutual fund strategy that redeems a fixed or variable amount of units at scheduled intervals. It provides you with regular payouts from your mutual fund investment while continuing to benefit from potential future capital appreciation.

How does SWP in a mutual fund work?

In a systematic withdrawal plan, you’re required to set a predetermined withdrawal frequency and amount. At each preset interval, the fund automatically redeems the corresponding number of units to meet your fund withdrawal requests. 

Which is better: SWP or FD?

Although both options can provide you with a regular source of income, the choice between a systematic withdrawal plan (SWP) in mutual funds and a fixed deposit (FD) depends on individual financial goals, risk tolerance and liquidity needs. With SWPs, there’s a potential for future capital appreciation, whereas there isn’t any such potential with FDs. However, the potential for capital preservation is much higher with fixed deposits than with systematic withdrawal plans.

What is the SWP interest rate?

Unlike fixed-interest investments like fixed deposits (FDs), a systematic withdrawal plan (SWP) doesn’t have an “interest rate” in the traditional sense. SWP involves redeeming units of a mutual fund at predetermined intervals, and the amount withdrawn is determined by the number of units redeemed and their Net Asset Value (NAV) at that time.