How to use SWP for tax efficiency in retirement?

how to use swp
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A Systematic Withdrawal Plan (SWP) is a tool offered by mutual funds, allowing investors to withdraw a pre-decided amount of money at regular intervals. This facility is especially beneficial for retirement planning as it provides a steady inflow of funds even after one stops drawing a regular salary. The other key features of SWP, like flexibility and tax efficiency also make it an ideal investment instrument when it comes to retirement planning.

  • Table of contents
  1. The role of SWP in retirement planning
  2. How to use SWP for tax efficiency during retirement?
  3. Strategies to maximise SWP for tax efficiency
  4. FAQ

The role of SWP in retirement planning

SWP in mutual funds plays an important role in retirement planning, addressing several key concerns of retirees.

Ensuring a consistent inflow of funds: One of the primary concerns during retirement is the need for a regular, reliable source of income. SWPs address this by allowing retirees to withdraw a fixed amount at regular intervals. This consistency helps in budgeting and managing regular expenses without the stress of income uncertainty.

Flexibility and customisation: Every retiree's financial needs and goals are unique. SWPs offer the flexibility to customise the withdrawal amount and frequency, ensuring that retirees can tailor their income according to their changing lifestyle and financial needs.

Investment growth potential: Unlike traditional pension plans that may require complete withdrawal of the invested amount upon retirement, SWPs allow the remaining funds to stay invested. This means that the investment continues to have the potential to grow, providing a hedge against inflation and potentially increasing the longevity of the retirement corpus.

Control over investments: SWPs give retirees control over their investment choices. They can decide which mutual fund schemes to invest in based on their risk appetite and financial goals. This control is crucial in managing the balance between growth-oriented investments and relatively stable, income-generating assets.

Tax efficiency: The tax efficiency of SWPs in mutual funds is a significant benefit. By strategically planning withdrawals, retirees can potentially reduce their tax burden. For instance, in equity funds, long-term capital gains of up to Rs. 1 lakh are tax-free. This aspect of SWP can be a game-changer in maximising post-tax retirement income.

SWPs seek to strike between providing a steady inflow of funds and ensuring the growth of the remaining corpus. This dual benefit is particularly important in the context of retirement. By carefully choosing the right mutual funds, retirees can manage their risk while ensuring they do not outlive their savings. Moreover, the adaptability of SWPs in terms of adjusting the withdrawal amount and frequency means that retirees can respond to changing market conditions and personal circumstances.

How to use SWP for tax efficiency during retirement?

  • Understand the tax implications: The tax levied on SWP depends on the type of mutual fund. By carefully planning the SWP, retirees can minimise their tax liability.
  • For equity funds, long-term capital gains (LTCG) over Rs. 1 lakh are taxed at 10% without indexation benefit for units held for more than 12 months.
  • Meanwhile, gains from debt funds are taxed according to the individual's tax slab irrespective of the holding period, if the units are purchased after April 1, 2023. However, gains from debt fund investments made before April 1, 2023 – and held for a period of 36 months or more – are considered long-term capital gains and taxed at 20% with indexation benefit.
  • Opt for growth option: Choosing the growth option in mutual funds for SWP ensures that the capital gains tax is applicable only on the redeemed portion and not on the entire investment.
  • Spread out withdrawals: Spreading out withdrawals over a period can help in reducing the tax burden, especially in the case of equity funds, where LTCG up to Rs. 1 lakh is tax-free.
  • Choosing the right funds: Selecting funds with a favourable tax treatment can enhance tax efficiency.

Strategies to maximise SWP for tax efficiency

Delaying SWP: Delaying SWP until reaching the limit for LTCG tax can be a strategic move, especially in equity funds.

SWP amount planning: Calculate the optimum SWP amount to ensure it falls below the taxable limit, thereby maximising tax efficiency.

Review and adjust: Regularly reviewing and adjusting the SWP amount based on market performance and tax laws can optimise tax efficiency.


SWP in mutual funds offers a flexible and tax-efficient way to manage finances during retirement. By understanding and strategically using SWPs, retirees can maximise their income while minimising tax liabilities, making it an essential tool in retirement planning.


How does SWP in mutual funds differ from regular pension plans?
SWP in mutual funds offers more flexibility in terms of withdrawal amounts and frequency and potentially better returns due to market-linked investments.

Can the withdrawal amount in an SWP be changed?
Yes, investors have the flexibility to change the withdrawal amount as per their financial needs.

Is it better to opt for monthly or annual withdrawals for tax efficiency?
This depends on individual tax liabilities and financial needs. Monthly withdrawals can provide a regular income stream, while annual withdrawals might be beneficial for optimising tax efficiency.

Mutual Fund investments are subject to market risks, read all scheme related documents carefully.
This document should not be treated as endorsement of the views/opinions or as investment advice. This document should not be construed as a research report or a recommendation to buy or sell any security. This document is for information purpose only and should not be construed as a promise on minimum returns or safeguard of capital. This document alone is not sufficient and should not be used for the development or implementation of an investment strategy. The recipient should note and understand that the information provided above may not contain all the material aspects relevant for making an investment decision. Investors are advised to consult their own investment advisor before making any investment decision in light of their risk appetite, investment goals and horizon. This information is subject to change without any prior notice.