Do you have a retirement date looming on the horizon? Do you want to make sure your employer is notified of it as soon as possible?
Retirement is a time of celebration, relaxation, and excitement. It’s the beginning of an adventure that only you can create! One of your first steps in creating it is to write a retirement letter to notify your employer.
In this blog post, we’ll review some guidelines for writing a retirement letter and offer tips for getting them out before the deadline.
What Is A Retirement Letter?
A retirement letter is a formal correspondence you use to notify your employer of your plan to retire. This is comparable to a letter of resignation, which informs your employer that you are leaving your position. However, the difference between a retirement notification letter and a resignation letter is that you are not only leaving the firm but also seeking retirement and pension benefits.
Formal or Informal?
Most retirement letters are sent as either a formal or informal letter.
Retirement letters sent to employers as formal letters often follow a more rigid structure and use language that’s more impersonal. They’re usually written on company letterhead and begin with phrases like:
“This letter is to inform you of my retirement…”
However, retirement letters sent as informal letters share personal information about their upcoming retirement date and why they chose it. These types of retirement letters might even include references to the employer’s relationship with the retired employee or memories from their time working together. Some also tell stories about past work experiences and what those taught them about life. Many end by telling their former employer how much they enjoyed working there and wish them all the best in the future.
No matter which style you choose, make sure your letter contains important information about your decision to retire.
Because retirement is a big life change, you might even consider writing multiple versions of your retirement letter for different audiences: e.g., one for HR and another for clients/customers/coworkers who may not directly work with you but want to know why you’re leaving.
Retirement Letter Header
If you are mailing a physical letter, be sure to have a formal header at the top of your letter body.
Depending on your situation, if working remotely, you may decide to e-mail your letter rather than mailing a physical letter. In that case, if it’s a formal letter, most people will type it in a Word Document as if it was a physical letter with a proper formal header, export it as a PDF, sign it digitally, and e-mail the PDF to their manager.
The typical header for a retirement notice letter would be as follows: Your contact information, the date, and the contact details of your manager (or whomever the letter is addressed to). See our example below:
63 Bolden St.
1214 Derry Rd, Malton, ON. L4T 1A8
July 1, 2021
Boyd S. Marshall
Chief Executive Officer
M&V Construction Co.
960 Rivet Ave. Bluerock, ON. L1G 6Z8
Dear Mr. Marshall,
What To Include In Your Retirement Letter
1. Express gratitude and appreciation
Try to be cordial and let coworkers know how much you appreciate and value the time you’ve spent together. Make sure to come across as authentic and humble.
2. Write about why you decided to retire
When retirement is looming, it can be tough to say goodbye. Be straightforward and give them an idea of how much thought you’ve put into your retirement decision. Make sure they know it’s something you’ve thought long and hard about because it directly affects them.
3. Describe your work history at the organization.
A retirement letter is not a time to dwell on the past. Rather, it is a time to appreciate your career and everything you have learned from it. Address your retirement in a way that makes it feel like you’re leaving to start the next chapter of your life.
Spending time with your family, traveling to new places, and hobbies are popular retirement plans. Whatever you decide, let your employer know you are looking forward to the next chapter of your life.
5. Words of wisdom or suggestions for the future
In retirement letters, most people choose to include a few words of wisdom for the future. For example, you might share lessons you’ve learned during your work life, offer advice for working with clients, or say goodbye with a quote you’ve always loved.
5. Take the time to wish them well
A retirement letter is the perfect opportunity to thank your employer for everything they have done for you. Express how grateful you are for your time there and let them know you wish them all the best.
4. Last day of work
Many organizations hold send-off parties for their workers, particularly those with tenure. If you would like to be recognized by your employer, make sure to include a retirement date in your retirement letter.
5. Offer to help in the transition
If you can, offer to assist with your retirement and help train someone who will be replacing you. Doing so will make your retirement easier for your employer and will ensure a smooth transition.
6. Include contact information
It’s not necessary to include contact information in retirement letter. However, if you’re open to keeping a line of communication with your employer open, feel free to include it.
7. Retirement party details (if applicable)
If you would like to celebrate your retirement with co-workers, include the time and location of the retirement party as well as any important information such as dress code or RSVP details.
8. End the letter on a positive note
You may find yourself feeling sentimental or emotional as you are writing your retirement letter, so keep the tone light and end on a positive note!
How Long Should A Retirement Letter Be?
Most retirement letters should be written as a single page. If your letter gets very long and starts to feel more like a goodbye speech than a retirement letter, it might be time to stop writing! As with any other business correspondence, retirement letters should end with a closing paragraph that references contact information and expresses gratitude again for the reader’s time.
Review Your Retirement Letter
Be sure to review your retirement letter several times before sending it out. You may even want to ask a trusted friend or family member to look it over and provide feedback before hitting send.
When To Send Your Retirement Letter?
It is up to you when you send in your retirement paperwork and when you plan on going through the retirement process. Retirement processes vary from company to company and it’s important that everyone involved knows exactly what to expect in terms of timing.
Generally speaking, retirement letters should be sent out 2-3 months before your retirement date. In some cases, retirement letters are sent out six months before the retirement date to give your employer enough time to hire your replacement and train them before you leave the company.
The timing of sending out your retirement letter depends on what type of retirement process you’re following at your company. If it’s standard practice to send these letters at the end of the business day, then you should plan on turning it in just before.
If your retirement isn’t processed until several weeks after you submit retirement paperwork and you’re unsure of the exact date retirement will be official, sending a retirement letter can help expedite things and ensure that no one forgets about your retirement process.
If there are any specific forms or documents that need to be signed in order for retirement processing to begin, they will most likely have been given to you well before retirement so check with your benefits manager about what needs to happen next!mIn most cases, your HR department will help walk you through retirement paperwork and ensure all necessary steps are completed so that you can retire gracefully without a hitch!
Sample Retirement Letter Templates
Need a sample retirement letter? Below are some retirement letters to help give you an idea of what yours might look like:
Sample Retirement Letter #1 – Formal:
Dear [Manager’s Name],
It is with immense gratitude and pleasure that I write this retirement letter today. Over the past [X] years, it has been an honor and a privilege to work for [company name]. My time with the company began in [year] and over the course of my tenure I have had the opportunity to advance in many ways, both personally and professionally.
I’d like to thank each and every member of my team who helped make me feel welcome when I came on board, as well as those who were here before me who passed along their knowledge!
As I move on to new opportunities, I wish nothing but the best for you and for each member of the organization. You have an incredible team that will continue to grow and thrive even as I move onto retirement.
I am honored by this opportunity and truly appreciate all that has been done for me during my tenure with [company name]. If there is anything else I can assist with in the future please don’t hesitate to ask!
Sample Retirement Letter #2 – Formal to Management:
Dear Members of Management,
For over four years now it has been a privilege working at [company name] as well as learning from each person on my team. It’s truly been an enjoyable ride, filled with many challenges the way, but also with a great deal of satisfaction as I have been able to help our customers reach their goals.
That said, I wanted to reach out and inform you all that I’ll be retiring from [company name] at the end of this month. It’s been an honour and a privilege working here and it has truly been one of the best experiences in my professional career.
I’d like to thank each one of you for everything you’ve done for me over the years, I’m grateful I had the opportunity!
I wish nothing but the best for all of you and hope that [company name] will continue moving forward in great strides. The future is bright!
Sample Retirement Letter #3 – Informal:
Dear All My Colleagues from [Company],
It is with a great deal of joy and satisfaction that I write this retirement letter. Over the past [#] years, it has been an honor and privilege to work at [company name]. Every day on my job was truly a pleasure and I am grateful for all of your hard work and dedication that made this happen.
I’d like to thank each member of my team who helped make me feel welcome when I came on board, as well as those who were here before me who passed along their knowledge.
There is no doubt in my mind that [company name] will continue to thrive and grow with each member of the team working diligently towards a common goal!
Please know that if you need any assistance or guidance in the future, don’t hesitate to ask! It has been a true pleasure and honor serving all of you.
Sample Retirement Letter #4 – Informal To Employees:
To All of My Employees at [Company Name]:
After almost twenty years working here at [company name] it is finally time for me to retire. I am looking forward to retirement, but will greatly miss all of you.
I want to thank each and every one of you for the hard work you put into making me feel welcome and comfortable. I’ve always felt like I’ve been part of a family here; now I’ll be able to spend more time with my own.
I’m looking forward to retirement and hope that it will be as rewarding and enjoyable as our time working together has been. Your work, dedication, and commitment has made this company what it is today and helped to make retirement a little easier.
The reason I’m retiring is to spend more time with my family. My wife and I will be traveling, enjoying retirement together, and spending some much-needed quality time with our grandkids.
When I first started at [Company], it was a small startup company that focused on making [what your company does]. When the company grew older and expanded its reach globally, they needed someone who could [what you do]. That’s when they brought me in as the [Position title]. There were many challenges early on, such as [describe challenges]. With many long nights, countless meetings, and a lot of hard work, we were able to accomplish everything that was needed.
Now that I am retirement I will be busy with many exciting projects. I want to become involved with [Describe retirement projects].
One of my favourite motivational quotes is: “The more you praise and celebrate your life, the more there is in life to celebrate”.
My official last day will be September 16th.
I’m happy to help make this as smooth of a transition as possible, and am available to answer any questions any of you have. Please let me know if there’s anything I can do for you to assist the transition!
After retirement you can reach me at my personal email: [email protected]
My assistant, Nancy, has gratefully planned a small celebration on September 12th that everyone is welcome to attend. We’ll have cake and treats at [location].
Thank you all for everything!
Sample Retirement Letter #5 – Formal:
To whom it may concern,
This letter serves as formal notice to you and the firm that my final day of employment at [Company] will be [Date]. I intend to retire on that day.
I’m excited about my anticipated retirement, but I wanted to take this moment to thank you for all of the opportunities I’ve had while working with the team at [Company]. I’ve enjoyed my work as a [Job title], and I’ll miss you and my co-workers when I retire.
Please let me know what I can do to assist you with the transfer of my work to a new employee. I plan to work right up until my retirement date and will be happy to help you make a smooth transition.
If there’s any information I can help you with or if I can be of any other assistance, please do not hesitate to ask.
I will be meeting with HR shortly to finalize the details of my retirement, learn about any benefits that extend beyond retirement, and identify any assistance that I can provide in transitioning my job to another employee.
Sample Retirement Letter #6 – Informal:
After [twenty] years of working at [Company], I’ve decided it’s time to retire. I’m looking forward to retirement, but wanted to take this opportunity to thank you all for everything you’ve done for me over the years. I appreciate the opportunities to learn new skills and contribute my experience.
I’m excited to spend more time with my [grandkids], [spouse], and [friends]. I plan on taking a couple of classes at the local community college, get involved with some projects around the retirement center where I’ll be living, and get back into volunteering.
Please don’t hesitate to ask if there’s anything you need or any way that I can help transition the projects we’re working on. It has been an honour working for all of you!
Sample Retirement Letter #7 – Informal To Coworkers:
Dear All My Friends at [Company],
It is with much happiness that I write this retirement letter today. Over the past [#] years, it has been my pleasure to work for [company name]. The time spent here has truly been a wonderful experience working alongside many dedicated people. Everyone on the team has displayed unique qualities that have made me grow both personally and professionally.
I would like to thank each one of you for everything you’ve done for me over the years, I’m grateful I had the opportunity!
Please know that if you need any assistance or guidance in the future, don’t hesitate to ask! It has been a true pleasure and honour working with all of you.
Don’t forget to follow up
Once your retirement letter is sent, check back with your employer after a few days and make sure they received your retirement letter. If you’re not sure they’ve received it or if there is anything they need from you, send a follow up email.
Typically, a retirement letter is used in combination with a verbal notification to your immediate supervisor.
Important Meetings To Schedule
Before submitting your retirement letter, you may wish to organize a meeting to discuss your intentions to retire.
Schedule an in-person meeting with your direct manager (or HR if they will be the only one available) to:
- turn in important documents like retirement paperwork and keys
- ensure you have all of the information about benefits, etc. that you need
- obtain a pension statement, especially if you have a defined-benefit pension – this statement has your pension’s commuted value which is important to know
If you are retiring but will continue to work for the company as a contractor or consultant, write a retirement letter informing them of this decision.
Once your retirement letter has been sent, be sure to follow-up with any individuals who may need additional information about retirement. This could include people in the accounting department or anyone who does payroll so that you can verify taxes and other factors associated with retirement income.
Plan Time For Retirement Celebration
Plan to celebrate, and don’t forget to mark the retirement date on your calendar! This is a once in a lifetime event, and you want to remember it! Have fun, be with friends and family, go out to eat or have a treat for yourself that you’ve been saving. Do something special with someone who will appreciate it.
If you’re planning to retire soon, make sure not to neglect the importance of writing a retirement notice letter. Whether it’s for your employer or colleagues at work, this is an opportunity to say goodbye and thank everyone who has made your job so enjoyable over the years.
Before retiring, reach out to a Certified Financial Planner to make sure you have a strategic retirement plan and fully understand all of your pension options. Pension Solutions Canada’s staff are available to assist you. We specialize in assisting people in preparing for retirement. Allow us to evaluate and review your retirement income sources and assist you with retirement planning. Call us at 1-888-554-6661, or click here to book a virtual Zoom meeting.