What is a Systematic Withdrawal Plan?

Personal Finance

systematic withdrawal plan (SWP) allows one to have a regular, anticipated cash flow from their investments. One can use this cash flow as income. The most typical retirement plan uses systematic withdrawals of such income. But investors can design and utilize systematic withdrawal plans to meet various payout requirements even before retirement. These can be from various forms of investment on the market.

Some common investment avenues for SWPs (IRAs) are:

  • Mutual funds
  • Annuities
  • Brokerage accounts
  • 401(k) plans
  • Individual retirement accounts

A typical form of systematic withdrawal plan is an annuity. It offers predetermined cash flows based on an initial contribution.

Most of the time, retirees depend on SWPs to provide their retirement income. For this, one has to annuitize the assets or investments in retirement accounts. These include IRAs and 401(k) plans. 

Setting up an SWP requires researching how much money you’ll need in retirement. Online retirement plans benefiting from taxes, social security, and inflation may be useful.

How Does a Systematic Withdrawal Plan Work?

A mutual fund scheme’s SWP enables you to take a fixed sum from the investments. When an investor selects an SWP, they redeem some mutual fund units. In this way, they receive cash from their current investments. 

It is necessary to fulfill the distribution amount that an investor has put in. For this, selling a part of the investor-owned mutual fund units is essential. If you do not specify a timeframe for the SWP, payments through it will continue until you have units.

An Example 

Suppose you have invested an amount of Rs 5 lakh in the fund, which has a NAV of Rs 10 per unit. Thus, you have 50,000 units in the fund. Say, you want to withdraw Rs. 5,000 per month, the fund will sell 500 units every time. Consider a scenario in which you begin the SWP with the NAV at Rs 20 on the day of withdrawal. Now, the fund will sell 250 units to provide you with the necessary Rs. 5,000. The quantity of the units will now be 49,750.

Setting Up a Systematic Withdrawal Plan

For systematic withdrawals to start, accounts often have the lowest balance threshold. Investors with various holdings in an account may define the liquidation percentage. This might happen with investments in

  • Mutual fund companies
  • Brokerage accounts
  • Portfolios under the management of a financial advisor

SWPs must abide by Internal Revenue Service (IRS) rules. At the age of 72, investors must start taking withdrawals from a stable

  • IRA
  • Retirement plan account

How to Best Use a Systematic Withdrawal Plan

SWP guarantees a regular financial flow. An investor should choose SWP as soon as he makes an investment. If the investor has a sizable sum to invest for a stable withdrawal, then he can also go for an SWP. But, investors can avoid paying the 15% short-term capital gains tax. For this, they have to begin an SWP at least a year after the transaction.

If one has superior financial planning, then one should include SWP after a few years (five to seven years). It is because this period aids capital appreciation. A greater amount of consistent financial flow is beneficial. Additionally, the investments made using the SIP can use SWP capability at any time.

Are you saving through a SIP until retirement and don’t want to invest more? Then, you should consider quitting the SIP. Ensure that you do not completely redeem your investments. Instead, use an SWP plan to take advantage of the enormous corpus.

The remaining corpus will remain invested and grow. There will be a steady monthly flow for you, like a pension. Also, you will be able to meet your demands for a longer duration. From the SWP, you can redeem extra points as necessary.

Systematic Withdrawal Plan — Considerations

Investors may wish to consider taxes and a systematic transfer plan when starting an SWP. Also, you’ll be subject to a tax rate when you withdraw from retirement and regular accounts. For this, you can consult a tax counselor.

Withdrawals from standard accounts are subject to income tax. It is because they cause selling stocks to generate distributions. The taxation of withdrawals from retirement accounts will differ.

A scheduled systematic transfer may also be possible for investors in specific circumstances. Using this as a method of organizing fund withdrawals into cash may be a wise choice.

Benefits of a Systematic Withdrawal Plan

  • Flexibility: An investor in the SWP plan can select the date, sum, and frequency of payments as per his needs. Furthermore, he can halt his SWP at any time. He can withdraw more money than the SWP allows or make more investments.
  • Regular Income: SWP in mutual funds helps the investors. It guarantees investors a consistent return on their investments. As a result, this becomes quite simple and helpful for a person. Also, it helps to have a consistent income flow to cover current bills.
  • Capital growth: The investor can experience capital growth over the long term. But, it can be possible when the fund return rate is higher than the SWP withdrawal rate.
  • No TDS: TDS is not applied to the amount of SWP for domestic investors.


Analyze what a systematic withdrawal plan, or SWP, in a mutual fund is. It will help an investor discover that it is a solid technique for having a steady income. 

The capital appreciation part of an SWP can also be set up as the only withdrawal. The benefits include tax-efficient returns, and gains are not subject to TDS. Piramal Finance assists you with a systematic withdrawal plan and other finance-related issues.

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