In the past, retirement was pretty straightforward. It was not a sensitive or complicated issue. You retire when you reach the age of 65.
Nowadays, things are not as clear-cut. Some individuals opt for early retirement and retire when they are just in their 50s. Others, on the other hand, choose to work until they are way into their 70s or even 80s. Because of this, announcing a retirement can be a pretty delicate issue.
It pays to know how to go about announcing your retirement the “right” way. It guarantees that you conclude your successful career on a positive note.
Announcing Your Retirement
Here are some tips that you may find helpful when you plan to retire:
Plan in advance.
Deciding to retire is a serious and significant choice. It should not be taken lightly.
Start planning early – at least half a year in advance. This ensures that you are very sure about your decision before you make things formal.
Review the company’s retirement policies. Re-acquaint yourself with its compensation and benefits package. Find out how far in advance the company says you should notify them so you know when you should inform your boss or the human resources department. Get as much retirement-related information as you can so you feel confident about going through the process of retirement.
Decide when to inform your boss.
It is best to follow company protocol about when to give notice about your approaching retirement. Usually, the importance of your position or job will dictate how many weeks or months of notice, you need to provide before your day of retirement.
A rank and file employee, for example, is expected to give the standard 2-week notice.
If you hold a higher position, you should think about how long it may take the company to find and hire the right person to replace you. Handing in your retirement letter 3 to 6 months in advance will give them enough time to find the right person.
If your position is project-oriented, think about crucial deliverable timelines. Timing is important. You don’t want your boss to assign you to a new long-term project that extends past your planned date of retirement.
Even if you are leaving the company for good, it is decent to think of the organization’s position. Help the company in any way you can to make the transition easier for everybody.
Meet with your boss.
Arrange for a private meeting with your boss to tell him about your plans.
How close you are to your boss will dictate how formal or informal this meeting will be. If you have a somewhat formal relationship with your boss, the meeting will be similarly formal. If you enjoy a comfortable and friendly relationship with your boss, the meeting is likely to be more open, pleasant, and conversational in character.
Either way, tell your boss that you will help make the transition as easy and smooth as possible. Tell him that you will tie up all loose ends before you leave. Offer to help train or orient your replacement.
Consult your boss about how to make the announcement to the rest of the staff.
How should you tell the other employees about your approaching retirement?
Your boss may want to personally make a formal announcement to the other staff about your retirement. He may do this by making an announcement, posting a bulletin, or sending a memo. If this is the case, you are not required to make your formal announcement to your coworkers. However, your coworkers will appreciate it if you take the time to also tell them about your decision to retire.
Write a formal letter to announce your intention to retire.
After you discuss your plans with your boss in person, write a formal letter to announce your retirement officially. This is just a formality; the letter can be brief and direct to the point. Make sure that you mention your definite date of retirement in the letter.
Tell your coworkers about your plans to retire.
Make your announcement to the rest of the staff. Do not write a company-wide memo. Let your coworkers know about your plans face-to-face or through a personal email or phone call.
Send personalized messages to your coworkers. Let them know how much you appreciate working with them. Offer your sincere and well wishes.
When you give a personal touch to your message, you make your coworkers feel that you value and think well of them. It helps you maintain their friendship even when you leave the company.
If you intend to remain friends with your coworkers after you retire, you may want to invite them over to an informal dinner or barbecue. Schedule the get-together for after your retirement, so you stay in touch after you leave the office.
Tips for Writing Your Retirement Announcement
How do you write a formal letter of retirement? The following tips will help you:
Make a well-written announcement.
Your written retirement announcement serves as the formal notice of your intention to retire. You can send this as an email or as a business correspondence. Give accurate information. Double-check the announcement to make sure that it does not contain grammatical errors, typos, or abbreviations.
Give a date.
Mention the precise date of your retirement. This prevents you or your employer from doing anything to delay or put off the actual retirement.
Mention your contributions to the company.
It is good to mention your achievements that have added value to the organization over the years. At the very least, mention the number of years you have been with the company.
Convey your gratitude.
Writing your retirement announcement gives you the ideal opportunity to express gratitude for the experience and growth you have gained with the company.
Stay positive. If there is anything that you are not happy about in your job, do not bring it up. There is no point in airing your grievances at this time. Maintain a professional, gracious, and pleasant tone throughout the letter.
Offer your services.
If you are interested in doing occasional freelance, consulting, or part-time work with the company even after you retire, discuss this with your boss in person. Reiterate your offer in your letter to make it formal.
Give Human Resources a copy of your letter.
Send the letter to Human Resources. They need the information to give you the compensation and benefits that you should receive as you move over to retirement.
Give all the necessary information.
Include all pertinent information in your letter to simplify the process. It also helps to prevent confusion.
Put in the exact date of your retirement.
Include your forwarding address, especially if you know that the one in your personal file has not been updated. If the company needs to send you any correspondence or even your final check (in case this is not yet available on your final day), it should have the right address.
Include your email address, phone number, and other contact information.
Retirement Letter Template
If you do not know how to write a retirement letter, refer to the following template:
(Your Personal Contact Information)
City, State, and Zip Code
Contact Phone Number
(Your Employer’s Contact Information)
City, State, Zip Code
Dear Mr. (or Ms.) Last Name:
Use the first paragraph to inform your employer about your intention to retire. Give the specific date of retirement.
Use this paragraph to tell your employer how much you appreciate being given the opportunity to work with the company. You may include a brief outline of your contributions or the number of years you have been with the organization.
Use this paragraph to assure your employer that you are willing to help in any way to make the transition smooth and easy.
Your signature (for the hard copy)
Your complete name (type-written)
Sample Retirement Letters
Here are a few sample retirement and early retirement letters to inspire you to write your own:
Simple Retirement Letter
6432 Big Street
New City, NY 10001
November 23, 2019
99 Big Street
New City, NY 10001
Dear Mr. Black:
This letter serves as a formal notice of my retirement from Black Automotive effective December 16, 2019.
Thank you for the opportunity to work with your company for the last 15 years.
Please do not hesitate to let me know if there is anything I can do to help make this transition easier.
Standard Retirement Letter
123 Autumn Road
Autumn City, NY, 10001
November 23, 2019
Johnson Paving Company
321 Autumn Road
Autumn City, NY 10001
Dear Mr. Johnson,
I am formally informing you about my intention to retire from Johnson Paving Company effective March 1, 2019.
Thank you for giving me the opportunity to work with your company for the last 20 years. I have managed the Manufacturing Division for the past five years. It gives me great pride to see how our division has contributed to the overall growth of the company. Thank you for the confidence and high regard that you have always demonstrated towards me. The successes I have experienced in my career would not have been possible without your support.
Johnson Paving Company will always have a special place in my heart. I would like to assure you that I will help in any way I can so that the division functions just as effectively during the transition. I have only the best wishes for you and your company in the years to come.
Early Retirement Letter
333 Summer Orchard
Summer City, NY, 10001
November 30, 2019
2978 Summer Orchard
Summer City, NY, 10001
Dear Ms. Smart:
I would like to inform you that I will be retiring from my position as Executive Assistant to the Office Manager of Blue Silks after ten years of service. I will be retired effective January 1, 2020.
I know that my retirement is earlier than anticipated. However, certain things have pushed me to make this decision, most important among which is the need to attend to my family and kids.
I find my work with Blue Silks to be very fulfilling. I am especially grateful to be part of a company that gives its employees all the support and assistance they need to be happy and productive in their jobs.
I hope you find the perfect person to fill my position. Rest assured that I will be available to help in her orientation and training while I am still with the company.
Can You Be Fired for Announcing Your Retirement?
Many states take this default position about employment. If you work without a contract, you are employed at will. Your employer can terminate you for whatever reason and at any time – without liability.
What can you do to secure your position?
The Age Discrimination in Employment Act makes it illegal for an employer to discharge any employee just to avoid paying retirement benefits. Other laws also prohibit employers from making age-based employment decisions.
Even if you are employed at will, your employer can’t fire you with age as a reason. If you are afraid of age discrimination, get in touch with the employment services bureau in your state.
Explain your position and ask for their advice so you can cover yourself.
Fun Ways to Announce Your Retirement
When you announce your retirement to your boss and your staff, you need to do so with a certain degree of formality. When you make the announcement to family and close friends, however, you can be informal and creative about it.
You can use a social media post to make the process convenient and straightforward. If you use a career networking site like LinkedIn, you can also leave a note there to announce your retirement.
It is a good idea to demonstrate that you are leaving yourself open to other opportunities, particularly if you are opting for early retirement. “I will be retiring from my job in December to have more time with my family. I am excited to see what the next chapter has in store for me,” sends a positive vibe to other people.
Create a retirement video.
If you have technical skills and creativity, you may want to make a light-hearted and amusing retirement video. You can get inspiration from YouTube.
Throw a party.
You can also throw a fun party and make your big announcement to friends and family.
If you are friends with your boss and the other people you work with, invite them to the party and mark the end of your chapter with them on a high note.
It is good to say your final goodbyes to your coworkers with great food, drinks, and shared memories. It is a great way to leave for another adventure in your life without pushing away the people you are leaving behind.
Leave small, thoughtful messages for your coworkers.
Prepare a batch of fortune cookies and put a personalized note from you in each one. You can either bake the cookies yourself or ask somebody else to bake them for you. There are kits available online.
Write down quotes associated with you on sticky notes and leave the notes in random places at work.
When you do any of these things, you leave the company with grace. People will remember you with fondness.
When You Should Tell Your Employer You Are Retiring
You don’t want to make things difficult for yourself by announcing your intention to retire much earlier than you should.
Making a too-early announcement may have certain disadvantages.
Your employer may take such action to mean that you are not as invested in the company as you used to be. He might pass you over for some projects. He might start looking for a replacement and ask you to leave earlier once he finds somebody to take your place.
If you work in a supervisory capacity, your subordinates may ignore your directives if they know that you are about to retire and leave the company.
On the other hand, you also want to leave the company on the right note. You want to help make the transition for the company easy.
See what the employee handbook says about giving notice. It is standard practice to provide at least 2 or 3 weeks’ notice if you have a rank and file position. This provides the company with enough time for finding, hiring, and training your replacement.
If you are holding a senior or a sensitive position, the company may need more time to look for a fitting replacement. High-ranking employees usually give between 3 to 6 months of notice so that a suitable replacement can be found, hired, and trained.
When you retire, you leave behind a job that you were able to do quite well because you had years of training and experience behind you. Your boss may need time to find somebody who has similar qualifications. Giving him ample time to do so is the professional and considerate thing to do; it is the right way to make your exit.
After working hard for years, you have enough money and are now ready to enjoy your retirement. You can now pursue your travel plans, spend quality time with your grandchildren, or explore a new undertaking.
Use the tips outlined above and start writing your retirement announcement.