Understanding the difference between IDCW and SWP in Mutual Funds

Investing in mutual funds has long been a popular choice for individuals looking to grow their wealth and achieve financial goals. Two commonly used terms in the mutual fund industry are IDCW (Income Distribution Cum Capital Withdrawal) and SWP (Systematic Withdrawal Plan). Understanding these concepts is essential for investors to make informed decisions and optimize their investment strategies. Let us delve into IDCW and SWP in mutual funds, exploring their definitions, benefits, and considerations.

IDCW and SWP in Mutual Fund: What Do They Mean?

IDCW and SWP in Mutual Fund

IDCW: Maximizing Returns with Income Distribution and Capital Withdrawal

IDCW, or Income Distribution Cum Capital Withdrawal, is a feature offered by certain mutual funds that combine regular income distribution with the option to withdraw capital. IDCW plans were previously known as Dividend plans. However, this created confusion among investors and they misunderstood these plans as something that offers regular bonuses apart from its overall returns. To clear this misleading nomenclature, SEBI directed mutual funds to change the name of plans from dividend plans to IDCW plans.

IDCW plans cater to investors seeking a steady flow of income while preserving the growth potential of their investments. IDCW provides investors with the dual advantage of regular income and the flexibility to access their capital when needed.

How Does IDCW Work?

In a mutual fund with IDCW, a portion of the fund’s income is distributed to investors at regular intervals, such as monthly or quarterly. This distribution represents the income generated by the fund’s investments, which may include dividends, interest, or other earnings. Additionally, investors have the option to withdraw a specific amount of capital from their investment. Any IDCW declaration would reduce the NAV of the scheme to the extent of such distribution and statutory levy, if any.

Benefits of IDCW

IDCW offers several benefits to investors:

Regular Income: IDCW may provide a regular income stream to investors, ensuring a steady cash flow for their financial needs.

Flexibility: Investors can withdraw a portion of their capital while keeping the remaining amount invested, allowing them to meet unexpected expenses or fulfill specific goals without disrupting their overall investment strategy.

Limitations of IDCW

Cash flows IDCW are decided by Mutual Fund House (AMC). Thus the cash flow may fluctuate based on the returns generated by the Fund which may not match with the investor’s requirement.

Tax Implications: Income distributions received through IDCW are taxed at the investor’s marginal tax rate.

SWP: Structured Cash Flows with Systematic Withdrawal Plan

SWP, or Systematic Withdrawal Plan, is a facility offered by mutual funds that allows investors to withdraw a fixed or variable amount from their investments at regular intervals. SWP is primarily used by individuals looking to generate a regular income from their mutual fund investments during retirement or other phases of life where a steady cash flow is required.

How Does SWP Work?

Under SWP, investors can choose the withdrawal frequency (e.g., monthly, or quarterly) and the withdrawal amount. The fund deducts the specified amount from the investor’s mutual fund units and transfers it to their bank account. The frequency and amount can be adjusted as per the investor’s needs.

Benefits of SWP

SWP offers several advantages to investors:

Regular Income: SWP ensures a consistent flow of income for investors, providing financial stability and meeting their ongoing expenses.

Flexibility: Investors have the freedom to determine the withdrawal amount and frequency based on their specific requirements, allowing them to align their cash flow with their financial goals.

NAV Impact: NAV of your fund does not get affected by SWP however your mutual fund units get reduced in proportion to your withdrawal amount and NAV at the withdrawal time.

Tax Efficiency Taxation is applicable only on the appreciated amount from your total withdrawal.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about IDCW and SWP in Mutual Fund

Q: Can I opt for IDCW or SWP in any mutual fund?

A: No, not all mutual funds offer IDCW or SWP. It is essential to carefully review the fund’s features and investment objectives before investing to ensure IDCW or SWP is available.

Q: Is there a minimum withdrawal amount required for SWP?

A: The minimum withdrawal amount required for SWP varies among mutual funds. It is advisable to check the fund’s offering documents or consult with the fund manager to determine the specific requirements.

Q: How are taxes calculated on income distributions received through IDCW or SWP?

A: Taxes on income distributions received through IDCW or SWP are subject to the prevailing tax laws of the country. It is recommended to consult with a tax advisor or refer to the tax regulations applicable to mutual fund investments in your jurisdiction.

Q: Can I stop SWP in a mutual fund?

A: Yes you can stop SWP if you no longer need regular cash flows.

Q: Are IDCW and SWP suitable for long-term investors?

A: IDCW and SWP can be suitable for long-term investors seeking regular income and flexibility. However, it is crucial to assess the fund’s investment strategy, risk profile, and historical performance to align with your long-term investment goals.

Q: Can IDCW and SWP be used for capital appreciation?

A: IDCW and SWP primarily focus on generating regular income. If your goal is capital appreciation, you may consider other investment options that prioritize growth rather than income distribution and withdrawal. This means you should be choosing the Growth option of your mutual fund scheme.


IDCW and SWP are valuable features in the realm of mutual fund investing. IDCW allows investors to benefit from regular income distributions while having the flexibility to withdraw capital if required. On the other hand, SWP provides a structured approach to generating regular income by systematically withdrawing funds from the investment. Both IDCW and SWP cater to different investor needs and financial goals.

Before opting for IDCW or SWP, it is crucial to thoroughly research the mutual funds offering these features and assess their suitability for your specific requirements. Consider factors such as the fund’s investment objective, risk profile, historical performance, and taxation implications.

Remember, seeking professional financial advice and conducting due diligence can significantly contribute to making informed investment decisions. Mutual fund investments involve market risks, and past performance does not guarantee future returns.

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