Retirement Letter : Definition, Types and Format

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As you slowly approach the age of retirement, you start having mixed feelings. You are looking forward to retiring because this will finally give you the break you have long been desiring. You finally get to go on that dream vacation and spend the rest of your life sharing quality time with your family and loved ones. But at the same time, the thought of retiring makes you sad. You met people and you gained a lot of experience that helped shape you into the wise person you are today. And so, it might not be a very delightful parting in the end.

Regardless of how you might feel about retirement, you must write a retirement letter to your supervisor including all the formalities and thanking him for the wonderful opportunity to represent the company all these years. In this article, we offer assistance on how to accomplish that.

What is a Retirement Letter?

A retirement letter is written on the event of the retirement of a senior employee. The employee formally declares his intention to leave the job through a retirement letter. So, it is one kind of a resignation letter and follows very much the same structure. The difference is you most likely need a strong reason to resign, but retirement is seen as part of the normal course of an employee’s life. Even so, retirement letters follow their own sets of formalities and need to be written with as much precaution.

Types of Retirement Letters:

There are different kinds of retirement letters:

  1. Army Retirement Letter
  2. Early Retirement Letter
  3. Retirement Announcement letter (see Announcement Letter)
  4. Retirement Appreciation letter (see Appreciation Letter)
  5. Retirement Congratulation Letter (see Congratulation Letter)
  6. Employee Retirement Letter
  7. Employer Retirement Letter
  8. Thank-you Retirement Letter
  9. Retirement Notification letter
  10. Retirement Letter to a Client, etc.

Steps in Writing a Retirement Letter:

1. Retirement letters are written in the business letter format. As such, the letterhead contains the contact information of both the retiring employee and the supervisor. The information should be sequenced in the following manner:

[Employee’s name]

[Employee’s designation]

[Company name]

[Company address]

[Mailing address]


[Supervisor’s name]

[Supervisor’s designation]

[Company name]

[Company address]

 2. Start the letter with proper salutation.

3. The letter is obviously divided into three sections. In the opening paragraph, you should state your intentions to retire and make a formal statement. Also, mention the date you expect the retirement to be effective from.

4. In the second paragraph, thank your manager or supervisor for the opportunity to work in the company for so many years and for everything you have learned in the process. Speak of all the positives that you would take from this job and all the wonderful experiences which you have enjoyed.

5. In the final paragraph:

  • Offer to help in the transition period.
  • Mention whether you would be available for a consulting job. Even if you are retiring, you can still offer expert advice on what you specialized or had plenty of experience in.
  • You may also briefly state your plans after retirement.

6. Finally, close the letter with a proper closing salutation and sign at the bottom of the letter above your name.

Tips to Remember:

  1. As this is a formal letter where you officially announce your retirement, you should obviously maintain a formal and polite tone. But at the same time, also maintain a tone of gratitude as you thank your manager for the opportunity in the company.
  2.  Before making the decision to retire, go through the company’s retirement policy and discuss your retirement with the HR department.
  3.  It is always better to send the retirement letter well in advance, in order to allow time to find your replacement.

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