How to Write a Retirement Letter?

After all those years of hard work, sleepless nights and chasing deadlines (missing a few here and there), you can see your impending retirement. It’s time. It is time to reap the benefits.  The days of throwing away those travel guides are over and you’re finally ready to make good use of them. It is time to enjoy retirement benefits!

So are you ready for the new life? 

However, before you may jump on to the thrilling adventure of retirement, and start making your retirement plan, you must submit a resignation letter to your current employer. You really want to leave a strong legacy and for that you must resign from your job in a very professional way. Therefore, it is time to think of your formal retirement procedures.

While you are in the process of leaving your workplace forever and going through this transition, you will have to find out the best way to make your exit smooth and graceful enough to leave a great and lasting impression. 

Retirement Letter – A Formal Resignation Letter

Your retirement letter is your formal resignation letter that you need to submit to your company to show your intention that you are ready to quit the job. This letter of resignation is very different as compared to the resignation letter that you serve to your employer in case of switching the jobs.

Through this formal letter of resignation, you simply inform your employer as well as the department you have been serving for years that this is the time for you to say goodbye to the working world and you are good to go to spend your life with least possible responsibilities on your shoulders. Most probably, you have already explored how you are going to spend your life after retirement.

In your case, you don’t have any type of grievances with your employer, meaning you are not leaving this position because you were unhappy with what you have been doing. Also this is not the case that you have been offered some better job opportunity by some other company. Hence, this must end on a positive note and should be a happy ending not only for you but for your employer as well and that will help you keep the doors open for you.

It is not a bad idea to offer your services to your employer as a consultant so you may work on and off without causing any harm to your life in retirement. However, you must be sure that you will be willing to spare time for this activity. 

In your retirement letter, you must courteously thank the employer, thrash out the details that they must be aware of while providing the information necessary for them to know about the transition. In this official notice, you may offer the company a flexible time frame for your exit while offering them an opportunity to train some of your coworkers or your replacement to take your position. 

Key components of the retirement letter

Following are the key components that must include in your retirement letter:

  • Salutation
  • Title of your job
  • Name of the employer
  • Notice period
  • The last day you intend to serve your employer
  • Your signature

Consider this letter of resignation as your last chance to thank the employer in a formal manner while describing how you feel about working for them for years and how incredible opportunities you have had to work with your colleagues.

You may express your gratitude to your boss, manager, mentors as well as the colleagues who have been really helpful throughout your employment period in the company while expressing your desire to stay in contact in the future.

Should you give an official notice?

As easy as it may sound to get your big break, retirement does have a tiny formality you need to follow to end your career on a positive note. The company you work for must not feel as if they made the wrong choice years ago by hiring you. So how do you go about it? Do you straight up walk in and dramatically fire your boss? As A-grade movie style as this may sound, retirement looks nothing like the movies.

Retirement is a transition from the old to the new (no pun intended), the hardworking ambitious employee to the no-obligation family man/woman. It’s quite simple; give notice, draft a formal letter and you’re good to go. Literally.

If your motive for retirement is health-related, you need to mention this to the human resources department and be sure of the retirement notice to give for health-related retirement. The department needs to have it on record and update your personal details. This may be a crucial step to avail your retirement benefits. 

What to do before you serve the retirement notice?

For sure, you must be excited to start your new life after retirement but you must keep in mind that you were well qualified for the job you have been performing for years with plenty of experience. So you must consider the challenges your employer may experience to fill this position when you quit the job. So better don’t make such a decision all of a sudden. 

It is always better to discuss your plans for the retirement in person with your manager before you serve the retirement notice. You may send an email to ask them for a formal meeting to discuss your plans. 

And you should ensure that your notice period must be flexible and you must allow them to take enough time to employ someone as your replacement.

And even before you arrange an in-person meeting with your supervisor, you should follow the steps given below to make the transition smoother:

  • First of all, read all the details of your contract or appointment letter. This document has all the details regarding your notice period to quit the job along with information related to the retirement benefits as well as pensions.
  • Get familiar with the retirement policies, procedures and packages offered by the company. More informed you are about these procedures, the smoother the entire discussion with your manager will be. 
  • You should be willing to give a couple of months to your employer to hire and train your replacement. By doing that you actually allow them to find the most suitable person for the position you are leaving and they can do that with peace of mind.
  • Your employment experience can be valued to train the replacement. So be courteous to offer them to serve as a trainer for the replacement.
  • As mentioned above, you can offer your employer to serve as a consultant. Businesses value the experience of their ex-employees and sometimes may want to hire them for consultation. Hence if you think that you may be able to manage some time to work as a consultant then this is the right time to talk about that. 
  • However, you have to think about the remuneration package that you are expecting to earn while you work as a consultant. Because if you are going to open this discussion then they may ask your expected fee for the consultancy so get ready for that.
  • Retiring is more or less the same as to quit your job for any particular reason. So being gracious and a bit tactful will help you a lot. 
  • Being flexible will help you for sure. Neither should you be too diplomatic nor be too tactless.
  • Keep the negativity at bay throughout the entire process. This is not the time to air any sort of grievances that you may have experienced during your employment with the company.
  • Prepare the rough draft of your resignation letter and find some of the best retirement letter templates online. Here, at the end of this career guide, you are provided with one that is crafted by the career development experts. 

Format and the Content of Your Retirement Letter

So now you have already produced a rough draft and have the content written on a paper that you need to jot down and bring it into a formal resignation letter.

Salutation in your letter of resignation

Don’t forget to write down the date, name of the recipient, your employers name and their address at the top of the letter. While you start writing the letter, let your salutation strike the warm yet humble tone to address the recipient.

Since this is your formal resignation letter, therefore you must address them with their title or the last name, for instance: “Dear Mr. Fernandez” or may be “Dear Manager”.

Body of the Letter

Body of the retirement letter should contain 1 – 5 paragraphs. The very first paragraph should contain a statement to show your intention that you are retiring and it should include the date as well. The remaining paragraphs should contain the personal details that may include the skills that you have developed along with the retirement plans. 

To make your letter more heartfelt, write about the time you have spent in the company while thanking the employer for the incredible opportunity to serve them for a number of years.

Make use of this letter as an ideal place to pay tribute to your boss or manager for all what you have learnt from them. In any case, if you have been experiencing difficult times or your relationship with them wasn’t very healthy, don’t mention it here. Make the tone of the letter cordial, professional and polite enough, the same way you develop the tone during in-person conversation. 

Since you are expecting to receive retirement benefits from the company so this is the best time to mention your achievements and success at the company. This is the way to tell your boss how you added the value to the progress and success of the employer. At the very least, you must mention the number of years you have served the company and that will work as a reminder for your boss regarding your contributions.

Also you may write a paragraph to offer the company to help them during the transition period. Let them know that you are available to spend time to handover all the files, folders and important details regarding clientage of the company.

Provide your replacement with the contact details of the clients along with some specific information about any particular client that you think is necessary to convey. In case, if you have been serving the accounts department, let your replacement know about any outstanding payments, bills, recoveries, etc. that they have to take care of. It will help your replacement to get on the track with least possible hassle.

If you have been working for a corporate firm, then sending your formal letter of resignation to the human resources is what you should do when it is the time for submission. By sending the letter to the human resource department, you are going to help yourself to avoid any trouble in receiving the employment benefits while you go through the transition. 

It is very necessary to provide your employer or boss with your mailing address. Especially it will be helpful for them to contact you in case you have plans to move to some other city. Also don’t forget to include your email ID at the end of the letter.

Add Signature

Close your resignation letter while ending with “Cordially”, “Gratefully” or “Sincerely” and that should be followed by your signature as well as name. Of course, you can easily sign the hard copy of your retirement letter but if you are supposed to send the soft copy through email then you may use the option of adding digital signatures.

How to write a retirement letter? 

You need to ensure that you set the right professional tone. Inform your employer of your intention, take it back to memory lane and remind the employer of your achievements, sprinkle a little gratitude on the workplace culture and finally inform the employer of any plans of returning to work as a consultant. 

State your objective clearly

While writing the objective of the retirement letter, be direct and to the point. In the very first paragraph, you must mention that you are leaving the organization but keep your tone polite enough to leave a positive impression. Here you may have a look at some of the examples to state your objective clearly:

  • I am writing this letter to inform you of my retirement as a line manager at XYZ Company.
  • With gratitude and sorrow, I submit my retirement letter as a line manager at XYZ Company.
  • Please consider this resignation letter as my formal request to be retired as the line manager at XYZ Company.

Now look at the first two statements, don’t you feel that it is very unnatural to write such a statement because it sounds very straightforward and blunt. Even you never wish to speak to any family member or a friend like this. Hence, it is very much important not to mince the words. 

If you have made your mind that you can’t work anymore and you must leave the company now then state it clearly but politely. Otherwise, your words may cause some confusion for your employer and they may try to drum up ways to keep you around. 

If you think you can delay your retirement for the higher salary or promotion then better discuss it before you submit your retirement letter to the human resources department. Therefore, only submit your resignation letter when you are sure that you don’t need any promotion or raise in salary and you simply want to retire now. 

Legal Advice for Your Retirement

Laws governing the employee benefits and pension are not only complex but are frequently evolving.

It depends on the nature of your position in the organization and you may have to consider hiring the services of a lawyer for legal advice for your resignation process. Hence if you have been working on some executive post in your company then you may seek the legal advice for a smoother retirement process. 

Make Your Retirement Letter Look Better

Formatting of your retirement letter plays a significant role to make its appearance attention grabbing. Deciding where to put what in this resignation letter is very important. It helps the human resource managers to locate different components of your letter effortlessly.

  • Specifications of Formatting

Mostly the resignation letters are not longer than a single page. Font size should be between 10 to 12 points and make use of some standard fonts which are used for formal letters such as Calibri, Arial or Times New Roman. Keep the spacing single for the entire text of the letter while inserting some space between each paragraph. 

  • What should be on the top left of the page?

Mention the name, title, employer’s name and postal address of the company on top left of the page. Here you need to mention the name of the Human Resource Manager. So don’t mention the names of supervisors, team leads, etc. unless they are responsible to manage the recruitment process. If you are not sure who your letter must address then there is no harm to ask someone instead of mentioning the name of the wrong person and creating confusion for them.

  • Put the date on top left of the page, below the manager’s address

Employers expect their employees to mention the effective date of retirement mentioned on the resignation letter. Under the manager’s address is the right place to mention the effective date of your retirement otherwise your employer may regard your notice of retirement effective from the date they receive the resignation letter. 

Here’s a simple retirement letter template:

Your Name, 

Your Designation, 

Name of the Employer, 

Postal Address of the Company, 




Kindly accept this letter as a formal notification of my intention to retire effective from [DATE, including the year]. I will be leaving my position of (mention your job title / department if applicable) as of that date.

During my time as an employee working for your ABC Company (Name of your employer), I have had an incredible employment experience. The personal development you provided me as your XYZ (your position) poured a lot of value and helped climb the ladder in my career. During my time as your XYZ, I oversaw abc (some tasks you completed) and abc achieving abc (your achievement). I wouldn’t have done it without the exceptional team at ABC Company. While it pains me to leave, life in retirement is my final chapter that I hope to enjoy fully!

Kindly let me know when we can make arrangements to return the equipment (you can mention laptop, external hard drive, company car, etc.).

I am more than willing to assist with the transition and will do whatever I can to make this process as simple as possible. It would be a pleasure to continue working with ABC Company as a consultant while I spend some family time.

I can be contacted at the contact details below.   


[Your full Name]

[Your phone number]

[Your personal email address]

Proofread your retirement letter

Proofread your resignation letter for any spelling errors, grammatical mistakes. Be sure to read it thoroughly to confirm that all the details you have written are correct and up to date.

Also ensure that the tone of your content is friendly and you have not written anything that may cause any trouble for you during the transition process. You may ask some family member or friend to double check the flow and tone of the content.


The whole process needs to be seamless, ending with a positive note so that you leave a good impression while improving your chances of returning. To make the transition smoother, the first step is to craft a flawless retirement letter which is necessary not only for the individual being retired but it is also important for the employers to manage the entire procedure professionally.

Employers as well as employees are accountable to dispute if the entire process is not managed properly. If your retirement letter is written correctly, it will follow an acceptance letter from your employer. Hence they are considered as the vital parts of the mechanism to handle the entire process of retirement.