By Karyn - January 8, 2014

Get to know your Publix retirement plans


There’s plenty to consider when planning for retirement. Learn about your Publix retirement plans with these questions and answers.

When I decide to retire, can I leave my money in the retirement plans?

Yes, 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 complete three years of credited service, which means 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 available on your Publix Retirement Benefits Summary by visiting PASSport > Benefits > Benefits Summary.

I’ve decided to retire. How do I get information on my PROFIT Plan account?

Once you’ve made the decision to retire, contact your manager to decide on your employment separation date. Then, if you’re vested, contact the Publix retirement department 30 – 45 days prior to your last day of employment to request a PROFIT Plan retirement packet. The packet includes important information about your account balance and distribution options, forms and deadlines.

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. Because distributions of vested account balances are made only in shares of Publix stock, 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, which are generally January, February, April, July and October.

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.

What about distribution of my 401(k) SMART Plan account balance?

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 account balance and distribution options.

To request a distribution of your account balance, visit > Financial Resources > 401(k) SMART Plan, or call ING’s Information Line at 1-888-401k-PLN (1-888-401-5756). 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?

Call the retirement department at (863) 688-7407, ext. 52327, or outside the Lakeland calling area dial toll-free 1-800-741-4332.

PROFIT Plan open periods

01.17.14 – 03.28.14
05.09.14 – 06.27.14
08.08.14 – 09.26.14
11.07.14 – 12.19.14

The group benefits stories in Publix News are published to assist associates in understanding Publix’s benefits plans. The information is in summary form only and does not replace the provisions in the benefit plan documents. If there is any conflict between the content of Publix News and the plans themselves, the terms of the plans will be the final authority.