Skip to main content

SWP Vs. IDCW: What Is Better for Regular Income Flow?

Share :

When planning for a steady income, especially post-retirement, choosing the right investment option is crucial. Two popular methods for this purpose are the Systematic Withdrawal Plan (SWP) and the Income Distribution Cum Withdrawal (IDCW).

Let’s take a closer look at the features of SWP and IDCW, understand their key differences, and explore which might be better for your regular income flow.

  • Table of contents
  1. Understanding Systematic Withdrawal Plan (SWP)
  2. Understanding Income Distribution Cum Withdrawal (IDCW)
  3. Considerations for choosing between SWP and IDCW
  4. Comparative analysis for SWP and IDCW

Understanding Systematic Withdrawal Plan (SWP)

A Systematic Withdrawal Plan, or SWP, allows you to withdraw a fixed amount from your mutual fund investment at regular intervals, such as monthly, quarterly, or annually. This can provide a steady inflow of funds while keeping your investment intact. For example, if you have invested in a mutual fund, you can set up an SWP to withdraw a fixed amount every month. This helps in managing your monthly cash flow.

Understanding Income Distribution Cum Withdrawal (IDCW)

Income Distribution Cum Withdrawal (IDCW) is another way to receive regular income from your investments. In this method, the mutual fund distributes the profits to the investors as IDCW. The frequency of these IDCW depends on the fund’s performance and the fund manager's decision. It is not fixed, and the amount can vary. Also the value of investment goes down to the extent of IDCW and taxes, if any.

Considerations for choosing between SWP and IDCW

  • Consistency of income: SWP provides a fixed amount regularly, while IDCW depends on the fund's performance.
  • Taxation: The tax treatment of SWP and IDCW can differ, affecting your net income.
  • Investment growth: SWP allows your investment to grow as only a fixed amount is withdrawn. IDCW can reduce your investment base if they are high and frequent.
  • Flexibility: SWP offers more flexibility in adjusting withdrawal amounts according to your needs.

Comparative analysis for SWP and IDCW

  • Income stability: SWP offers a more predictable and stable income as you decide the withdrawal amount. In contrast, IDCW can be irregular as it depends on the fund's profits.
  • Taxation: SWP withdrawals are treated as redemption of units, so capital gains tax applies based on how long you have held the investment. IDCW are taxed at the investor's slab rate, which can sometimes be higher.
  • Control over investments: With SWP, you have more control over your investments because you can choose the withdrawal amount and frequency. IDCW gives less control as you depend on the fund manager's decision for payouts.
  • Impact on investment: SWP can be undertaken on your investment for a longer period if managed well. IDCW might erode your investment quicker if IDCW are substantial and frequent.


Choosing between SWP and IDCW depends on your financial needs and goals. If you prefer a steady and predictable inflow of funds, SWP might be a suitable choice. It offers more control over your withdrawals and can be tailored to meet your monthly cash flow needs. On the other hand, if you are comfortable with variable income, then IDCW could be suitable. However, it is essential to consider the tax implications and how each option affects your overall investment.


What are the main differences between SWP and IDCW?
The main difference is that SWP provides a fixed, regular income by redeeming units, whereas IDCW gives distribution based on the mutual fund's performance.

How does taxation differ between SWP and IDCW?
SWP withdrawals are subject to capital gains tax based on the holding period, while IDCW are taxed at the investor's income tax slab rate.

Which option is more suitable for retirees looking for a steady income stream?
SWP is generally more suitable for retirees as it offers a predictable and regular income flow.

Can SWP or IDCW be adjusted according to changing financial needs?
SWP can be easily adjusted to increase or decrease the withdrawal amount, providing flexibility according to financial needs. IDCW does not offer such flexibility as it depends on the fund’s performance and manager's decision.

Which is a better option, SWP or IDCW?
SWP is often considered better for those looking for regular, stable income and more control over their withdrawals. IDCW can be suitable for those who prefer variable income and are comfortable with fluctuations. In summary, if you want a regular monthly cash flow, turn to SWP. It provides more stability and control compared to IDCW.

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.

Points To Consider?