Retirement Letter Example and Tips

Older employee at computer
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Ready to retire from your job? You have worked hard for years, saved wisely, and 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 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 will include a retirement letter.

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 sending a letter, and give them ample notice.

Tips for Giving Notice of Your Retirement

  • Familiarize yourself with the company’s retirement policies and package. The more information you have, the smoother the discussion will go.
  • Make sure you provide enough notice of your departure. While you probably don’t want to tell the management months in advance of your retirement, you owe it to them to 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.
  • Discuss options for part time or consulting work. If you would like to continue your association with the company on a limited basis, bring it up with your management at this time. Many companies utilize 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.
  • Follow up with a formal letter or email to put your plans in writing. While you need to have a face to face discussion, you must also give written notice to your supervisor and HR department.

    Tips for Writing a Retirement Letter to Your Employer

    • Discuss your retirement in person first. You will have already 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 are unhappy with your job for any reason, don’t mention it. Your tone should be professional and cordial.
    • Help the company transition. You might want to offer to help the company transition and recruit a replacement. For example, you may offer to share some of your knowledge with the new hire. However, this is not required.
    • Offer potential proposals. You might have offered 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 will have been discussed with your boss in person first, and you’ll just be reiterating them in a formal way.
    • Send the letter to HR. Send a copy of 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 address. If you have a company email address, provide them with your personal email address so they can keep in touch.

    Below is a retirement letter example written to inform your employer about your pending retirement.

    Retirement Letter Example

    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 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 letter)

    Your Typed Name

    Sending an Email Retirement Message

    If you are sending your letter via email, you should omit the employer’s contact information, and include yours with your signature at the end. Your subject line should be clear and descriptive; “Retirement - Firstname Lastname.” 

    Further Reading

    • Resignation Letter Guide: Guide to writing a resignation letter, including resignation letter samples and examples.
    • Resignation Letters: Resignation letters samples and information on the best way to resign and how to write a resignation letter.