Retiring from your career is a monumental moment. You may have worked with the same company for decades or held similar positions for years, preparing you for this rewarding stage.
Although retirement is a fairly straightforward process and your boss probably knows it’s coming, it’s still important to end on a professional note.
In this guide, we’ll walk you through writing a retirement letter to let your employer know you’re leaving in a professional manner and give you a sample retirement letter you can use as a template.
What is the purpose of a retirement letter?
In most cases, when you retire, your manager and the HR department are already well aware of your upcoming plans. Typically, a retirement plan is put in place months in advance, and retirement is considered a normal step in the transition to a full-time career.
However, even if you are planning for your retirement, a letter still serves a valuable purpose. This letter serves as your retirement document, which is important for your company to have on hand. Your letter will be added to your employee file and stored with other important information, such as your start date, compensation, benefits information, and performance ratings.
Submitting a retirement letter helps you end on a high note with your employer and ensures that they have all the necessary documents before you leave.
sample retirement letter
When writing a retirement letter, it can be helpful to know where to start. Use the following example as a quick guide to what to include in your letter. Be sure to personalize your retirement letter to reflect the details of your situation.
2012 Front track
Greeley, CO 80634
April 20, 2022
3455 Mill Road
Greeley, CO 80634
I am writing to inform you that my last day of work at ABC Paper will be May 1, 2022. At that time, I plan to retire.
As I look forward to this next chapter of my life, I want to thank you and the entire ABC Paper team for the opportunities you have given me over the years. I enjoyed working on your team and will miss you all when I retire.
As I step down from my role, I am happy to assist you in any way I can to make the transfer seamless for your new hire. I will work diligently until my retirement date to complete all ongoing projects and relay all key information to the team.
Thank you again for the opportunity to be part of the exceptional team at ABC Paper. I wish you and the whole team the best for the days to come.
If you need additional information, do not hesitate to contact me. I will meet with HR to finalize my retirement plans and can provide all necessary details at that time.
What to include in your retirement letter
The example above is a good example of how to write your retirement letter, but it can also be helpful to break the letter down into key elements. Be sure to include all of the following when writing your letter:
- Your contact details: These should be placed at the top of your letter, in accordance with standard business letter practices.
- The date: After your contact information, indicate the date of the day you submit your letter.
- Your manager’s name, company, and business address: After the date, add your manager’s and company’s information.
- A professional greeting: “Dear” followed by your boss’s name with a colon is an acceptable business standard.
- A statement of intent: The first line of your letter should state your intention to retire, including your last day of employment with the company.
- A thank you: Retirement is exciting, but take the time to say thank you to your former boss and your company for the opportunities you had.
- Your assistance: Offering assistance with transitioning any project to a new hire or passing on knowledge can be a way to help you end your career on a positive note.
- A conclusion: You can include a line about providing additional information, then end your letter with a professional conclusion, such as “Sincerely.”
When formatting your retirement letter, stick to a simple, clean design. Use an easy to read font and make sure your message is concise. This document serves as the official notice of your retirement and should reflect that level of professionalism.
Tips for managing the retirement process professionally
Hopefully, when you retire, you will leave your company on a positive note. After years of employment, you have established quality relationships with your colleagues, reached important milestones and grown both professionally and personally.
However, there are times when retirement feels like your final escape. Maybe you didn’t enjoy your time with your company, or maybe you just feel a bit burnt out.
Regardless of your personal feelings about your company, your manager, or your colleagues, it’s always wise to manage your retirement process in a professional manner. Here are all the tips that can help you make sure you leave with your head held high:
- Don’t blind your boss. Chances are you’ve planned your retirement years in advance. Be sure to communicate throughout the run-up to your retirement, giving your boss plenty of time to find a replacement for your position.
- Don’t air your grievances with your colleagues. Susan may have pissed you off for the past ten years. Bob may have constantly put you down in project meetings. Either way, don’t use your last few weeks with the company to voice your complaints. While you may no longer cross professional paths, you never know when you might find yourself crossing current colleagues on a personal level. It’s best to leave your complaints behind and focus on your future.
- Keep criticism constructive. If you have the opportunity to have an exit interview with HR, you will often have the opportunity to provide feedback on the company, your boss and your team. This is a great time to discuss any issues you’ve had to help create a better workplace for the next person in your role. Be sure to keep your criticism constructive, focusing on how HR can build a quality future for its employees.
- Look for the positives. It’s easy to spend the last few weeks at your job counting the seconds until you can finally retire. However, be careful not to miss out on all the positive aspects of your job. Take the time to appreciate the people you have formed relationships with and the unique experiences your role has offered.
- Return all company property. Make sure that when you empty your office, you return all company assets, such as laptops, mobile devices, badges, and documents.
With your retirement letter typed and your end date set, all you have to do is soak in your final days of work and get ready for a new chapter in your life.