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How To Write A Retirement Letter

Last updated 10th February 2022

6 min read

man writing letter

Writing a retirement letter is a huge milestone for anyone. You’ve considered your options, made plans, and saved money away – and now you’ve decided that the time is right to start enjoying your new life as a retiree.

But how do you go about putting together and submitting a retirement letter? And which important formalities do you need to consider? This guide explains how to write a retirement letter and the process of handing it in.

Below, you’ll also find a handy retirement letter template plus an example to serve as inspiration for when you come to write your own.


What exactly is a retirement letter?

Put simply, your retirement letter is a formal way of announcing your plans to retire. You might have spoken to colleagues and perhaps even your manager about the possibility of your upcoming retirement, but you still need to resign from your role formally.

So, in many ways, a retirement notice is just a type of resignation letter. The key difference with a retirement letter is that you won’t just be confirming your intention to resign – you’ll also be making a request to start receiving your retirement benefits package.

Remember that this is a formal statement of your plans to retire. With this in mind, your retirement notice should be written out as an actual letter (not just an email!)

What's the process for submitting a retirement letter?

Before handing in your retirement letter, you may want to let your employer know of your plans. This might mean having an informal chat with them. Alternatively, if there are any details to discuss like your notice period or specific benefits, you could schedule a meeting.

Once you’ve raised the idea of retiring and had the verbal go-ahead from your employer or HR team, you can hand in your retirement notice. Your employer should then keep the retirement letter on file after you retire alongside your contract and other employee records.

You might decide to follow up with an email to let your employer know that you’ve submitted your notice. This will give your manager a heads up to keep an eye out for your retirement letter (whilst also providing them with an opportunity to confirm that they’ve received it).


Tips for writing a retirement letter to your employer

When writing a retirement letter, most people want to ensure that they end their career on a positive note. This is an opportunity to tie up loose ends, say thank you, and generally leave your employer with a nice lasting impression of you.

Include the important details in your retirement letter

Your retirement letter doesn’t have to be long – a few short paragraphs is enough. That said, you’ll want to highlight the following important details in the letter:

  • Your current job title.
  • The name of the company.
  • Your manager's name and position in the company.
  • Your notice period.
  • The last day you plan to work.

Address your retirement letter to the right people

Be sure to address your retirement letter to the right people. Generally speaking, you should address and send your retirement notice to your most immediate manager or supervisor. It’s also a good idea to leave a copy with HR.

Show your appreciation

A retirement notice is your chance to say thank you for the experiences you’ve had at your company. Many people use their retirement letters to express gratitude for all of the support and opportunities they’ve been given over the years.

Offer to assist with the transition

No matter their position in the company, an employee resigning will always create a certain level of disruption in a business. This is unavoidable, but you can help to minimise the difficulties your former employer will face when you retire by offering to assist with the transition.

The help you can provide will differ depending on what your job was. You could offer to do things like create clear handover documents, teach your next-in-line, and provide bits of ad hoc support if they run into any issues down the line.

Ask for clarification on your retirement benefits

If you’re still unsure about any of the contents of your retirement benefits package, now is the time to ask! Whether this relates to a company pension scheme, ongoing access to resources, or another type of benefit, being clear about what you’re eligible for will give you peace of mind.

Leave contact details so you can stay in touch

One of the keys to a happy retirement is keeping up an active social life. You may decide to keep in touch with some of the people you used to work with. Providing contact details like your personal phone number and email address is a great start.

Highlight your interest in providing freelance or consultative support

Depending on your job, there may be an opportunity for you to provide ongoing support to your former company on a freelance or consultative basis once you’ve retired (and earn a little extra spending money to use during your retirement). If you’re interested, say so in your retirement letter to make sure you’re considered for this type of work.


Retirement letter template

Now that you’ve got an idea of what’s expected and the key things to include, you might find the below retirement letter template and example useful as you start to write your own. Feel free to copy and paste these and amend them as appropriate.

[Date]

[Your name]
[Your Address]

[Manager's name]
[Manager's job title]

[Company address]


[Dear Manager's name],

I am writing to inform you of my upcoming retirement from the position of [job role] at [company name]. Taking into account my notice period of [notice period length], I intend for my last day of work to be [date].

I would like to thank you and everyone at [company name] for the opportunities and support I have been given during my [X years] here. I have had many valuable experiences, made many good friends, and learnt a great deal in my role.

Please let me know if there is anything I can do to make the transition after my retirement as smooth as possible. I am more than happy to provide any handover documents and teaching that my replacement requires.

I have always found my role as [job title] immensely satisfying and thrived on the challenges I have faced. If the company should need support with tasks such as [example tasks] in the future, I am willing to help out in more of a consultative capacity.

Although I am looking forward to my new life as a retiree, I have thoroughly enjoyed my time here and would love to keep in touch. If you would like to contact me during my retirement, you can reach me on [personal phone number] or at [personal email address].

[Discuss any queries relating to your retirement benefits or any other issues that need clarifying such as outstanding annual leave that you’ve accrued.]

Thank you once again for all of the opportunities I have had at [company name]. I wish you all the best for the future!

Yours sincerely

[Your name].


Example retirement letter

05/11/2021

John Smith
25 SunLife Close
Birmingham
B19 5RT

Lucy Parton
Head of Marketing
SunLife
1 Wythall Green Way
Wythall
Birmingham
B47 6WG


Dear Lucy,

I am writing to inform you of my upcoming retirement from the position of Marketing Manager at SunLife. Taking into account my notice period of two months, I intend for my last day of work to be the 31st January 2022.

I would like to thank you and everyone at SunLife for the opportunities and support I have been given during my 15 years here. I have had many valuable experiences, made many good friends, and learnt a great deal in my role.

Please let me know if there is anything I can do to make the transition after my retirement as smooth as possible. I am more than happy to provide any handover documents and teaching that my replacement requires.

I have always found my role as a Marketing Manager immensely satisfying and thrived on the challenges I have faced. If the company should need support with tasks related to brand strategy in the future, I am willing to help out in more of a consultative capacity.

Although I am looking forward to my new life as a retiree, I have thoroughly enjoyed my time here and would love to keep in touch. If you would like to contact me during my retirement, you can reach me on 07420123456 or at john.smith@emailprovider.com.

Thank you once again for all of the opportunities I have had at SunLife. I wish you all the best for the future!

Yours Sincerely,

John Smith.


Next Steps

Hopefully this guide on how to write a retirement letter has helped you get to grips with putting your own notice together. If you’ve found this post helpful, you may want to continue reading:

SunLife offers a range of services that might be of use to you as you approach retirement and beyond, including: