Retirement Letter Template – Letter of Intent

Planning to retire soon? Or at least you think you are ready and have lots of plans lined up such as travel, finishing projects around the house, or perhaps pursuing a hobby that you never had time for while you were working. Whatever the reason and the plans you have, there is a right way to retire that maintains relationships with your colleagues and has you leaving on a high note.

Some people find that after trying retirement, that it is not for them. By maintaining good relations with former colleagues and management, you may be able to turn that relationship into a contract or even a new job at another company. Your colleagues and supervisors can provide references and recommendations for a new job, a volunteering gig, or any activity that requires references. The point is to not burn any bridges and keep all of your options open.

After all, retirement is a big step in your career and your life. Assuming you have planned for your retirement, it should go smoothly, allowing you to accomplish the plans you have. But, what is a retirement letter, and how should you write it?

What is a Retirement Letter?

A retirement letter is an official document, no more than one page in length, that states an individual is retiring from their position. It officially advises your supervisor and human resources that they should begin the process of calculating your benefits, retirement income and plan to backfill your position.

In most situations, the retirement letter formalizes a discussion you have already had with your supervisor. It should never come as a surprise unless there is a health-related issue or some other personal issue that cannot be avoided.

However, before verbally discussing your retirement with your supervisor, always make sure you are ready with a date in mind. If you are still thinking about the idea of retirement, you are probably not ready, and you could find events moving faster than you anticipated.

Depending on the position with the company and the time needed to find a replacement, a period of anywhere from one month to a year is appropriate, although most are in the one month to three months range.

What to Include

The minimum requirements for a retirement letter are the planned final date of work and any special requirements to transition the position to the new employee.

Since you are retiring, sometimes from a long career with the company, many people will take the time to be more expressive than usual for a letter of this type. You may offer your thanks for a wonderful career, the experience, and the knowledge you have gained. Some people will also cover their plans to travel, move closer to the grandkids and work on their bucket list.

How to Use a Retirement Letter?

The retirement letter can be used for several purposes in addition to advising the company you will be retiring. Your future may not be as certain as you think, so it is always a good idea to maintain relationships and contacts. Your supervisor may choose to share your letter with your peers, and management in addition to HR. The following are a few ideas of what to include:

Offer your appreciation and thanks: this is where you let your colleagues know the value of the time you spent at the company with them. Be sincere and honest.

Summarize your history at the company: although you could write a book on your experiences, especially if you have been there for many years, including a basic chronology can lay out the significance of your career.

Talk about your plans: a few lines about your plans including such items as hobbies, travel, volunteer work will help your colleagues appreciate what is in store for you.

Last working day on the job: if you have vacation days coming to you, your last day on the job could be quite different than your last official day at the company. Let people know what day will be your last day working on the job. Many companies sponsor small celebrations for employees who are retiring to send them off and say their goodbyes.

How to write

The format of your retirement letter should follow a standard format. The header information includes the sender’s name and address, the date, and the person you are sending your retirement letter to along with their contact information.

The body of the letter should include your plans to retire along with the date of your retirement. You might also include the date of your last day at work if there are vacation days that must be used before you officially retire from the company.

You can include your immediate plans, gratitude for your time at the company, and end the body of the letter summarizing your thoughts about the next stage of your life.

Retirement Letter Format

The following provides more details about the format of the resignation letter.

(Your Name)

(Title, Company or Institution)

(Full address and)

(Email)

(Phone number)

(Date)

(Supervisor)

(Title, Company name)

(Full address)

(Email)

(Phone number)

Dear (Name)

Body – Paragraph 1 – Introduction – plans to retire along with dates

Body – Paragraph 2 – Summarize your time at the company, express your gratitude

Body – Paragraph 3 – Plans during retirement, offer to help with the transition

(Closing –

Sincerely, regards,)

(Signature)

(Printed Name)

#1 Sample Retirement Letter

(Your Name)

(Title, Company or Institution)

(Full address and)

(Email)

(Phone number)

(Date)

(Supervisor)

(Title, Company name)

(Full address)

(Email)

(Phone number)

Dear (Name)

This letter is my formal retirement notification that I will be retiring from (Name of Company), effective (Date). I have three weeks of unused vacation remaining from the current fiscal year and I plan to use these vacation days remaining before retirement. As a result, my last official day at work will be (Date). (Note that this may be subject to negotiation since some employers will prefer to pay the employee for unused vacation days)

My time with the company has been rewarding providing many positive experiences. I have been involved with the company in several capacities and functions and have enjoyed the experience immensely. I will always be thankful for the opportunity. (Customize this section to fit your situation, while keeping it positive)

The decision to retire at this time was not easy, however, my wife and I have quite a few plans, bucket lists, and projects that we want to pursue. Now is the time for us to make this major change in our lives. Thank you for the opportunities and experiences at (Name of Company) and the best of luck in the coming years.

Sincerely

(Signature)

(Printed Name)

#2 Sample Retirement Letter

(Your Name)

(Title, Company or Institution)

(Full address and)

(Email)

(Phone number)

(Date)

(Supervisor)

(Title, Company name)

(Full address)

(Email)

(Phone number)

Dear (Name)

I did not think this day would arrive so soon, however as of (Date), I will be officially retiring from (Name of Company)

While many of you may be surprised, it is time for me to retire due to personal health issues. I have enjoyed the job and the people I have worked with over the years very much. We have turned this fledgling company into a powerhouse recognized across the city. It was fun working with you and to be part of making it happen.

I appreciate the opportunities you have provided to me and my family over the years. We will always be grateful and look forward to seeing you from time to time.

Sincerely

(Signature)

(Printed Name)

Retirement Letter (Word Template)

Retirement Letter (Word Template)

Tips for Giving Your Retirement Notice

  • Unless there are complicating issues such as health, provide your employer with sufficient notice to allow them to plan a transition to your replacement and possibly to plan a retirement party or get together in your honor.
  • Most employees will discuss their plans for retirement with their supervisor in advance of sending the letter. This is considered common courtesy and there could be issues you were unaware of that could affect your decision to retire such as bonus plans and special retirement packages.
  • Discuss your remaining vacation entitlement if you have vacation days leftover. Some companies will buy out the vacation days, while others will delay the official retirement date to account for the remaining vacation period.
  • Some companies have great retirement policies and packages that include benefits you may not be aware of. Take the time to understand all of the policies and packages before making your decision, especially if there are new benefits under consideration.
  • Offer to help with the transition, training, and familiarization to the new job is often very much appreciated by the incumbent and management.
  • If you are interested in part-time work or contract work during retirement, discuss the opportunity with your supervisor.
  • Be gracious and positive in all of your communications, both written and verbal. Create positive impressions when retiring. You never know when you might need a reference for a volunteer position or even another part-time job.

Key-points

Keep your letter of retirement positive, even if your time at the company or your retirement circumstances was not positive. You never know when you may need a reference for another job or volunteer position.

The letter should be no longer than one page. The first paragraph should clearly state that you are retiring and the last day you will be on the job.

It is a good idea to discuss your plans for retirement with your supervisor before sending the letter. There may be benefits or work plans that you are not aware of that could influence your decision. In addition, management appreciates the warning which helps them plan the transition to your replacement.

Develop a plan for your retirement that includes your financial situation as well as your plans for activities including travel, hobbies, and activities that you will follow to fill your time. Many people find they need to return to work for a variety of reasons after retiring.

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