It’s Time: Retiring From Publix – How To, Tips and Steps

The choice to be retiring from Publix is a difficult one. Didn’t you think this would be simple? You found this article because you probably have a few questions. But, congratulations on retiring from Publix!!

Writing this benefits me in no way. I don’t have anything to sell you, and I’m not interested in investing your Publix stock or other assets!  I know a lot of Publix employees like you, who had the same concerns as you when it came time to retiring from Publix. That is the main objective of this guide: to provide answers to some of the numerous questions you may have.

I do have one piece of retirement advice for you, and I cannot emphasize it enough.


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Note: The content provided in this article is for informational purposes only and should not be considered as financial or legal advice. Consult with a professional advisor or accountant for personalized guidance.

This is literally your entire life savings.  Your life’s work.  And will provide for you and your family for the rest of your lives.  This is not the time to do it yourself.

Can I Retire Early? Find Out With Our Early Retirement Calculator

You want to work with someone who does this every day for folks just like you. You should ideally work with someone who specializes in Publix, the retirement plan, and Publix employees.  I will get to that at the end of this article though…

If you found this article and are a current associate, or recently joined Publix, I will give you a quick primer on the Publix retirement plan.  You can either skip the first portion or read it quickly as a refresher course on the Publix qualified retirement plan if you’re thinking of retiring from Publix.

Quick Summary – Retiring From Publix

  • Retiring from Publix is a difficult decision.
  • Publix matches 50 cents for every dollar you save in the SMART Plan, up to 3% of your eligible pay. The maximum match is $750 each year.
  • Do I have to wait until I am 59 ½ before retiring From Publix? No
  • Can I access my Employee Stock Ownership Plan (ESOP) and Voya 401(k) at age 55 without worrying about tax penalties? With careful planning, yes
  • Most people think they cannot access their retirement plans sooner, and that they would pay tax penalties on withdrawals.
  • If you’ve reached age 55 and are still employed with Publix, your retirement options may be better than you think.
  • Speaking with a Financial Advisor who specializes in helping people retiring from Publix is vital if you fall into this category.
  • There are a number of critical decisions to be made when retiring from Publix.
    • Do I have enough money to retire from Publix?
    • How much money will I make from my stock and retirement plan at Publix?
    • What effect will inflation have on my retirement?
    • Is it possible for me to keep my money in the stock after retiring from Publix? Yes, you can defer until age 62
    • Is it a good idea for me to keep my money in Publix stock?
    • Is it possible for you to do it yourself? Yes

I am in no way associated with Publix. While I talk with clients about their Publix benefits and educate them on their Publix benefits, I cannot guarantee that the information I’ve provided is correct or current. If a Publix employee has any questions about their individual employee benefits, they should contact Publix directly.

Publix retirement department phone number: 1-888-401k-PLN (1-888-401-5756).

What is the Publix Retirement Plan?

  • As you know, Publix is the largest employee owned supermarket in America. 
  • Publix offers employees /associates ownership through a profit-sharing plan.
  • The profit sharing plan is funded with year end bonuses.  Additional shares of the company stock are placed into your retirement account.
  • The Publix 401k is separate, and is administered by an investment company, Voya. 
  • When Can I Join the Publix 401k?
    • You can join the 401(k) after working at Publix for six months or more.
  • How much can I contribute to the Publix 401k?
    • You can contribute up to 10% of your pay.
  • How many years do you have to work at Publix before you get vested?
    • You need to complete 3 years of 1,000 hours each before you are vested.  At that point, you fully own the stock shares. login

Financial Planning, Employee Stock Ownership Plan (ESOP) & Publix Stock

Let’s start by defining “stock.”  Stock is a share of a business’s ownership. If you own 1% of a corporation and it has a hundred shares of stock, then you own one share.

Each share of Publix represents a small percentage of ownership because the company has millions of shares outstanding. However, because the ESOP (described below) owns the majority of the company, Publix is mostly owned by its employees!

Now that we understand what stock is, there are three ways to purchase Publix stock.  So we’ll go over each one separately:

Three Ways To Purchase Publix Stock

I. Employee Stock Purchase Plan (ESPP)

Remember that Publix stock is not traded on any public stock exchange. If you buy Publix stock, you get a “right of first refusal,” which means you can only sell it back to the company if you want to. If you die, you can give it to whomever you choose, but they must sell it to Publix and only to Publix. You cannot sell it to anyone else.

There are four crucial times a year that you can choose to buy Publix stock.  To purchase additional shares, all you need is one year of service prior to the start of the open season. However, depending on how many years of service you have, the amount of shares you can buy is limited.

Purchasing Publix Stock FAQ

Your Guide To Earning Publix Stock

Any stock you buy is yours to keep, even if you quit or are retiring from Publix. Again, you can  only sell the stock back to Publix, if you chose to sell.


$14.75 per share

Publix New Stock Price Effective Date: August 1, 2023 is $14.75 per share. This is a rare decrease in Publix stock price, down from $14.97 per share the previous quarter.

Publix also most recently paid a 10 cent-per-share dividend in August 2023


Is Publix Stock Publicly Traded?

No, Publix stock is not publicly traded. The company is owned entirely by its employees, who must be active eligible associates to purchase stock.

How much is Publix stock worth today?
How much are Publix shares worth?

As of March 1, 2023 Publix stock price is $14.55, while paying out a 9 cent per share dividend.
Please click the link above to get current Publix stock price, information on Publix dividends, and the history of Publix stock

Retiring from Publix
Retireing From Publix

II. 401k Plan For Publix Associates  

Publix offers its active associates a 401(k) retirement plan 

  • A 401(k) is a retirement plan governed by IRS regulations.
  • Voya manages the Publix 401k. 
  • After 6 months of employment, you are able to join the 401k plan and contribute up to 10% of your salary.
  • Every paycheck, Publix deducts this amount from your pay and sends it to your 401k account at Voya.

Why use the 401(k) plan? 

You don’t have to pay income taxes on the money because it was taken out of your salary before taxes, so you can buy additional shares today. There are other options for investing besides Publix stock, so do your homework.

Remember how I said Publix is the one that sends the money to Voya? Because Publix stock may only be purchased during the four open seasons, Voya maintains your money in a money market account between buying periods and purchases stock on the first day of the next open season, on your behalf.  Stock purchases will continue during each open period as long as you are employed.

Because the 401k is a retirement plan, you can keep it or transfer the account to another 401k or an IRA – if you ever leave Publix. The Publix stock, though, cannot be transferred to another 401k

Try our annual salary to hourly wage calculator

How much Does Publix Match for 401k contributions?

Publix matches 50 cents for every dollar you save in the SMART Plan, up to 3% of your eligible pay.  The maximum match is $750 each year. Each year, the Publix Board of Directors determines and approves the match.

How does the 401k work?

Retire from Publix checklist
  1. Enrolling is easy.
  2. Log into the SMART Plan website from
    1. You can also call (888) 401-5758.
  3. You will need your password that was mailed to you.
  4. When you log in, choose paperless or to have statements mailed to you.
  5. Choose your contribution amount.
  6. Choose your investment options, and confirm them.
  7. Be sure to complete the beneficiary designation.
  8. Once enrolled, you can access the plan at, download the Voya App, or call (888) 401-5756
  • Publix will match 50% of your first 3% of contributions that you make to your 401k plan. Maximum match is $750 per year of ‘free money’.
  • You become vested in the match after three years of 1,000 hours or more, reach age 60, or become disabled or pass away.
  • It will take six months after you are hired to be eligible for the 401k plan, if you are over 18.
  • You can contribute up to 10% of your pay to the plan.
  • You can take out a loan against your 401k plan.

Publix Voya 401k Brochure

CONTINUES ON PAGE TWO (click 2 below to advance)


  1. What investment companies take Publix stock…your IRA? I rolled mine to Suntrust…but now that they are Truist they no longer take private stock.

    • I appreciate the question and unfortunately, it is a very common question asked. Even worse is that the answer is perhaps more frustrating.
      So Truist will no longer hold your Publix stock in the IRA, because it is a private company – is that correct? And you are asking who does offer to hold private stock like Publix?

      As you know with Suntrust/Truist – the answer constantly is changing. You will want to confirm it with the institutions prior to moving your assets, but I believe as of today that Schwab, Fidelity, Edward Jones, TD Ameritrade, and Merrill Lynch still allow you to hold Publix stock in your IRA.

      From experience, you may want to triple-check this with the firm, even consider getting it in writing. I know quite a few former Publix employees were promised that certain firms can hold the stock, only to be told at the last second that wasn’t correct. That’s not a good position to be in, even though you asked in advance.
      Best of luck to you and thank you for reading the blog!

    • Chester,
      Thanks for asking this question! It’s great that you’re interested in taking ownership of your ESOP stock. Based on the limited information provided, there are a few options available to you. You may want to consider rolling your ESOP stock into an IRA or taking an in-kind distribution, depending on what is in your best interests.

      It’s important to note that taking ownership of your ESOP shares may have tax implications, and there may be other factors to consider based on your personal situation.

      So, I would suggest that you contact a Publix retiree specialist ASAPto discuss your options and make the best decision for your personal situation. Good luck!


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