Retirement Letter Template, Examples, and Writing Tips

Image shows two women shaking hands in a library. Text reads:

Image by Maddy Price © The Balance 2019

Ready to retire from your job? You’ve worked hard for years, saved wisely, and now you’re ready to move into retirement—whatever that means for you. Maybe you have travel plans, are going to explore a new venture, or spend time with family. It’s time to write your retirement letter.

It’s important to start your retirement on the right note. One way to do this is to let your boss know about your retirement plans in a thoughtful and professional way, which includes writing a specific type of resignation letter informing the company of your retirement.

Tips for Giving Notice of Your Retirement

While you are beginning a new phase in your life, remember that you are leaving behind a job you were well qualified for, with years of experience to share. Resigning due to retirement will leave an empty position that may not be so easy to fill. You should be sure to discuss your plans in person with your supervisor before you send a letter. It’s also a good idea to give them ample notice.

  • Familiarize yourself with the company’s retirement policies and package. The more information you have about the process, the smoother the whole discussion will go.
  • Make sure you provide enough notice of your departure. While you probably don’t want to tell the management about your plans for retirement too many months in advance, you should give them enough time to find a replacement for you.
  • Offer to help during the transition. Your experience can be valuable in training your replacement. After all, this person will have big shoes to fill.
  • Discuss options for part-time or consulting work. If you’d like to continue your association with the company on a limited basis, bring it up with your manager. Many companies use experienced consultants as needed.
  • Be gracious. Retiring is similar to leaving your job for any other reason.
  • Stay positive. Thank the management for your experience with the company, and resist the temptation to bring up anything negative. There’s no reason to air any grievances at this point.
  • Follow up with a formal letter or email to put your plans in writing. While you need to have a face to face discussion first, you must also give written notice to your supervisor and HR department.

Tips for Writing a Retirement Letter to Your Employer

You’ve told your boss you plan to retire, so this letter should be your formal notice. You can write the letter as business correspondence or an email, but either way, it should be grammatically correct, free of abbreviations and typos, and checked for perfection.

  • Give a date. Early in the letter, give a specific date for your retirement. This will help both you and your employer avoid putting off your retirement.
  • Mention your successes at the company. You might consider concisely reviewing the value you added to the company over the years in your letter. At the very least, include the number of years you worked for the company to remind your boss of your many contributions.
  • Express gratitude. A retirement letter is an ideal place to thank your boss for a great employment experience. If you’re unhappy with your job for any reason, don’t mention it. Just like your in-person conversation, your tone in the letter should be professional and cordial.
  • Offer your services. You might want to continue working in some small way after your retirement. For example, you might be willing to do freelance, occasional, or part-time work. These options should be discussed with your boss in person first, and you’ll just be reiterating them in a formal way.
  • Send the letter to Human Resources. This will help you to avoid any problems with receiving your benefits as you transition to retirement.
  • Provide contact information. If you are moving, provide your boss with a new mailing address. And give your personal email address so he or she can keep in touch.

Retirement Letter Template and Samples

Here is a retirement letter template and some examples to refer to as you write your own letter. If you send your letter via email, omit the employer’s contact information and include yours with your name at the end. Your email subject line should be clear and descriptive: “Retirement - First and Last Name.”

Your Name
Your Address
Your City, State, Zip Code
Your Phone Number
Your Email Address
Date
Employer Contact Information
Name

Title

Company

Address

City, State, Zip Code

Salutation

Dear Mr./Ms. Last Name:

First Paragraph

Advise your employer that you will be retiring and give the effective date.

Middle Paragraph 

Thank your employer for the opportunities provided during your tenure with the company.

Final Paragraph

Offer to provide assistance during the transition.

Complimentary Close

Respectfully yours,
Your Signature (hard copy only)
Your Typed Name

Retirement Letter Example #1

Enid Baker
Hatch Library
87 Felix Ave.
Charleston, SC 29401

Dear Ms. Baker:

I write this letter to announce my formal retirement from Hatch Library as reference librarian, effective February 15.

I would like to thank you for all the great opportunities you have given me as an employee at Hatch Library. I have enjoyed working with and learning from my colleagues for the past 20 years and am ready to move on to the next phase of my life.

Please let me know if I can be of any assistance during this transition.

Sincerely,

Barbara Schultz

Retirement Letter Example #2

Your Name
Your Address
Your City, State, Zip Code
Your Phone Number
Your Email

Date
Name
Title
Organization
Address
City, State, Zip Code

Dear Mr./Ms. Last Name:

I would like to inform you that I am retiring from my position with Smith Agency, effective August 1, 20XX.

Thank you for the numerous opportunities for professional and personal development that you have provided me over the past 15 years. I have enjoyed working for the agency and appreciate the support provided to me during my tenure with the company.

While I look forward to enjoying my retirement, I will miss the work and my colleagues at SA. As you and I have discussed already, I would be happy to continue to do part-time work on various projects, as needed.

If I can be of any assistance during this transition, please let me know. I have included my personal email so that you can continue to contact me after I leave the company.

Sincerely,

Your Signature (hard copy only)

Your Typed Name