All you need to know about limits set on the total expense ratio in mutual funds

The expense ratio in mutual fund is the proportion of assets paid to the fund management (i.e. AMC) as a maintenance charge. With the help of a team of analysts and advisers, the asset manager allocates, manages, and advertises the fund to maximize returns and control risks.

The cost ratio might be significant if the fund’s assets are little. This is because the fund must meet its costs from a constrained or decreased asset base. Similarly, if the fund’s net assets are substantial, the expense ratio in mutual should preferably be reduced.

Limit on Expense Ratio by SEBI

All of an AMC’s expenses must be controlled within the parameters outlined in Regulation 52 of the SEBI Mutual Fund Regulations. According to these rules, the total expense ratio in mutual fund for the first Rs.100 crore of average weekly total net assets is 2.5%, 2.25% for the following Rs.300 crore, 2% for the next Rs.300 crore, and 1.75% for the remaining AUM.

The ceiling of expense ratio in debt funds is 2.25%. Furthermore, the Securities and Exchange Board of India permits all mutual funds to charge an additional 30 basis points as an incentive to expand into smaller areas (B15 Cities). Exit load charges of 20 basis points are also available to these cities.

Three charges added to the total expense ratio in mutual fund

Management charges

A mutual fund’s performance is directly connected to its funding management. Manager’s strategy and decision-making ability are often what decide the revenue and returns of the mutual fund. As a result, managers must be compensated for their expertise.

Administration costs

The cost of administering a mutual fund includes registrar and transfer costs, custodian fees, legal and audit fees, administration expenses, advertising and marketing fees, and so on. All of these seemingly little fees add up to a significant portion of a fund’s expenses.

Fees associated with distribution

Some mutual funds impose commissions and distribution fees for selling mutual fund units. The fund’s Regular Plan TER would contain this additional component.

What is the effect of the expense ratio on returns?

The total expense ratio (TER) you pay on a mutual fund investment is the amount you’ll have to pay to manage your portfolio. Because the TER represents a proportion of the overall fund assets, it may have an impact on your results.

For example, if a mutual fund has a TER of 2% and produces a profit of 15%, your total returns on investment will be 13%. A lower TER may imply a higher profit margin.

However, because the amount depends on the assets under management, a high expense ratio in mutual funds does not always imply low returns. However, keeping an eye on the TER is critical because it has a direct impact on the investment’s Net Asset Value (NAV).

Compare the TER of different funds to ensure that the cost does not outweigh the mutual fund’s benefits. The spending ratio can also help you figure out whether a fund is actively or passively managed. Actively managed funds typically have higher TERs than passively managed funds.


Mutual fund expense ratio is a critical component to consider. On the other hand, financial experts say that the expense ratio should be studied in conjunction with other criteria. The mutual fund’s track record and return consistency are among these characteristics.

For example, the TER for an aggressively managed active fund may be high, but the returns earned may compensate for it. Consider your investment profile, risk appetite, time horizon, and financial goals when choosing the right mutual fund. Examine and assess the various options for investing in a relevant mutual fund.

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