There’s plenty to consider when planning for retirement, and you’re sure to have questions along the way. Become familiar with some of the basics regarding how your Publix retirement plans work.
When I decide to retire, can I leave my money in the retirement plans?
Yes, when you retire you can elect to leave your money in the PROFIT Plan and 401(k) SMART Plan if the value of your account for that plan exceeds $1,000. After retiring, your vested account balances must be distributed to you from the retirement plans within 60 days after the end of the plan year in which you reach age 62.
What does “vested” mean, and when do I become vested?
Being vested means you’re entitled to the full value of your retirement plan accounts, regardless of when you separate from employment with Publix. You generally become 100 percent vested in your PROFIT Plan account and 401(k) SMART Plan matching contributions account when you first meet one of the following:
- complete three years of credited service
- reach age 60
- become disabled or
- pass away.
A year of credited service is an anniversary year during which you’re credited with at least 1,000 work credit hours. You’re always 100 percent vested in your payroll contributions to the SMART plan and any investment earnings on your contributions.
Your vested status in each plan is reported on your Publix Retirement Benefits Summary each year. To view your most recent summary, visit PASSport > Benefits > Retirement Benefits Summary > View/Print Retirement Benefits Summary.
I’ve decided to retire. What happens to my PROFIT Plan account?
Once you’ve made the decision to retire, you need to contact your manager to decide on your employment separation date. You’ll then need to contact the Publix retirement department 30 – 45 days prior to your last day of employment to request distribution forms. If you’re vested in the PROFIT Plan, distribution forms will be mailed to your home address on PASSport.
The PROFIT Plan distribution forms include important information about your distribution options and deadlines when the completed forms must be returned to the retirement department. If you do not meet these deadlines, your distribution will be delayed.
Publix recommends you plan your retirement with the help of a qualified tax advisor. Your advisor can help you understand your retirement needs and help you make the best decision about when and how to take distribution of your PROFIT Plan account.
Can I receive distribution of my PROFIT Plan account at any time?
No. Distributions of vested account balances are made only in shares of Publix stock. Each participant’s account balance may be invested in two ways — Publix stock and other investments (stated as cash credits). If you have an other investments balance, it must be converted into shares of Publix stock using the most recent Publix stock valuation in order for the retirement department to pay out your account.
The PROFIT Plan requires the Publix stock valuation be no more than 90 days old. That means there are closed periods when distributions are not made. These periods are generally January, February, April, July and October. However, during the months of January and February, any previously allocated shares of Publix stock are available for distribution to you when you retire, provided your account balance consists of at least one full share. No later than March of the same plan year, you may receive another distribution made up of any shares that were converted from your other investments, any newly allocated shares, and, in the case where your previous account balance was less than one full share, the fractional share of Publix stock.
During open periods, an approved distribution will generally be processed by the retirement department four weeks after your employment separation date or the receipt by the retirement department of all of your original, completed PROFIT Plan distribution forms, whichever is later. If the forms are incorrect or incomplete, processing may be delayed. Distributions are processed each Friday and are mailed or available for pick up the following Monday, unless Monday is a holiday.
What about distributions from my 401(k) SMART Plan?
Once Publix personnel records has processed the separation form submitted by your manager, notice of your separation will be sent to ING, the SMART plan’s recordkeeper. ING will send you a Termination Notification Package containing information about your distribution options.
Visit www.publix.org > Financial Resources > 401(k) SMART Plan or call ING’s Information Line at 1-888-401k-PLN (1-888-401-5756) to request a distribution of your account balance. Because this is a paperless process, there are no distribution forms to complete.
If you have a balance in the Publix stock portion of the Publix Stock Fund, you can request to have your shares of Publix stock distributed to you. Otherwise, the distribution of your vested account balance will be made in cash. SMART plan distributions requiring the sale of Publix stock are held and processed only on the valuation effective dates, which are generally March 1, May 1, Aug. 1 and Nov. 1. Additional restrictions may apply to distributions requested during the period of Nov. 1 – Dec. 31 of each year.
What if I have questions?
If you have questions regarding your Publix retirement plans, call the retirement department at (863) 688-7407, ext. 52327, or outside the Lakeland calling area, dial toll-free 1-800-741-4332.
The PROFIT Plan distribution schedule is subject to change without prior notice. If distributions are suspended for a period exceeding three consecutive business days, participants will be notified. Please note, during the months of January and February, any previously allocated shares of Publix stock are available for distribution from the PROFIT Plan when an associate retires, provided their account balance consists of at least one full share of Publix stock. The months of January and February are closed for financial hardship withdrawals.