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How to Write a Resignation Letter When Retiring

Updated on April 2, 2024ProfessionalsWriting Tips

If you’ve reached the point in your career when you’re considering retirement—congratulations! It’s likely that you’ve worked hard for many years, and you’ve earned it. But before you take off to go paragliding in New Zealand or hiking across Europe, you’ll need to wrap things up at your place of employment.

That means finishing any projects you’re working on, making sure your coworkers will be able to continue their work without interruption after your departure, and, of course, writing a resignation letter. Read on to find out how to write a resignation letter due to retirement.

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Understanding resignation letters for retirement

A resignation letter due to retirement is a formal notification written by an employee to inform their employer of their decision to retire from their position within the company. This letter officially announces the employee’s intent to end their professional career, typically marking the conclusion of their working life.

These resignation letters should include the planned retirement date, express gratitude for the opportunities and experiences gained during employment, and possibly offer assistance during the transition period, such as by training a successor. The tone is usually respectful and appreciative, reflecting on the positive aspects of their tenure while also formalizing their departure from the workforce.

When to notify the employer

You will likely know long in advance that you’d like to retire and may have been looking forward to it for years. Ideally, you’d give your employer as much notice as you can—between six and twelve months. This may seem like a long time, but it allows both you and your company to adequately prepare for your departure.

If you’re retiring, that usually means you have been working for a long time, perhaps at the company you’re leaving. You may be senior in rank and may have a lot of institutional knowledge. It’s important to pass all that information off to whoever will be taking over your role or responsibilities. The transition could include training someone or multiple people, writing down everything you know, detailing what you’ve been working on, and preparing any documents or files to hand off. You may even have to help the company hire your replacement, which could take several weeks or months.

Lastly, you should check your employment contract to see if your employer mandates a set notice period for your role. Some executives have a clause in their contract establishing, for example, at least six-month notice when they choose to retire. If that’s the case, that’s how far in advance to notify your employer of your decision to resign due to retirement. If you don’t double-check your contract, you may inadvertently be at risk of breaching your contract, which could have legal consequences—and that’s the last thing you’ll want to be worried about when you’re sailing on the Mediterranean Sea.

Crafting your letter of resignation due to retirement

Your resignation letter for retirement should come in the form of a business letter. This is one of your final pieces of writing addressed to your employer. As such, it can contain expressions of gratitude to the company for all the support and opportunities it’s provided you over the years.

Use a writing assistant such as Grammarly to check for clarity as well as correct grammar, punctuation, and tone. Your resignation letter should be concise, written in a formal and professional tone, and contain the points listed below:

  • The date
  • Name of the company
  • Name of the person you’re addressing the letter to (your immediate manager)
  • A formal statement of your intent to retire
  • Your intended last date of work
  • Appreciation for the company and the opportunities you’ve had there
  • An offer to help with the transition
  • Your name

To generate a first draft of your resignation letter for retirement, you can use Grammarly’s AI resignation letter generator. Simply enter to whom the letter should be addressed and the fact that you are resigning due to retirement. The generator will produce the draft of a letter that you can then edit, add to, and tailor to your specific situation.

Example resignation letter due to retirement

Here is a sample resignation letter due to retirement that you can use as the basis for drafting your own letter. Feel free to add to it to include any further words of gratitude you may have for your manager, team, or colleagues.

[Today’s Date]

[Name of Company]

[Address of Company]

Dear [Name of Manager],

I am writing to inform you of my intent to resign from my position as [Your Role Title] at [Company Name] due to the fact that I will retire from the workforce. My last day at the company will be [Last Day, typically six months or more from the date of the letter].

I am very grateful for the opportunity to have worked at [Company Name] and am grateful to you in particular for all the support you’ve provided me. It has been an honor to work on such an inspiring, innovative team, and I will miss connecting with you and our colleagues on a daily basis.

I hope that providing a notice period of [Notice Period] is ample time to fully transition my duties and prepare the person or people who will be taking over my role. I fully intend to support this transition by preparing documents and files, training anyone you suggest, and doing anything else to facilitate my offboarding process. If there’s anything I can do to further assist the company during this transition, please don’t hesitate to let me know.

I wish you and the company continued success in the future, and I hope to stay connected.


[Your Name]

Tips for your resignation letter for retirement

Your resignation letter for retirement should cover all the basic points listed above, but it could also serve as a farewell message to colleagues. You’ve worked hard there and deserve to call out the warm relationships you’ve likely built during your time there. Below are some tips to help you craft a resignation letter that’s compliant with company requirements but also allows you to express your gratitude to the company.

Use a professional letter format

Make sure that your resignation letter due to retirement is addressed to a specific person, has the company name and the date, and is signed with your name. If you have your own personal letterhead, you can write your resignation letter on that.

Verify the right channel of communication

Your company may have policies concerning the preferred communication channel to file your resignation letter. This may involve submitting a PDF resignation letter on official personal letterhead into a ticketing system or simply writing an email to your direct manager. Consult your employee handbook, look back at your contract, or ask your manager or an HR representative if there is a protocol and be sure to follow it when submitting your resignation letter.

Write in a formal and respectful tone

Your resignation letter of retirement is an official piece of business writing and as such should employ a professional tone throughout.

Proofread your letter

It would be embarrassing to submit a resignation letter that’s riddled with typos, that rambles, or that doesn’t have the right tone for a piece of business writing. You wouldn’t want to, for example, accidentally state that you will be leaving one year later than you intend to. Grammarly can help you proofread your resignation letter for elements such as typos, grammatical correctness, correct punctuation, and concision.

Give a long notice period

You’ve probably been considering your retirement for a few years. It’s considerate to provide your employer with a heads-up that you intend to retire as far in advance as possible. That way your company can adequately put plans in place so that it doesn’t experience too great an interruption from your departure. This also gives you enough time to finish your lingering projects and help find or train the person or people who will be taking over your role in a way that does not put undue pressure on you.

Express gratitude to your team and manager

While a resignation letter is a formal letter, it is addressed to another person and so can contain personal notes of gratitude to your immediate manager and your team if that feels authentic to you.

Include how you intend to help with the transition

Given you are hopefully providing a long notice period, you’ll have a lot of time to help the company in transitioning your responsibilities. You could, in your resignation letter, list out what some of that transition would look like. That shows your employer that you have given the situation much thought and are committed to helping them. Your offboarding may involve your writing a handoff memo that includes links to all your important documents and files at the company and helping to find and train those who will be taking over your responsibilities. You should ask your manager what else you could help with during the transition. And, of course, you should use this time to finish as much of your work as possible before you leave.

FAQs on resignation letter due to retirement

How should I communicate my resignation due to retirement to my employer?

You should communicate your resignation due to retirement through an official resignation letter. This letter should include the last day of your employment, the fact that you intend to leave due to retirement, and an offer to assist the company with the transition of your tasks and responsibilities.

How can I ensure a smooth transition when resigning due to retirement?

You can ensure a smooth transition when resigning due to retirement by providing a long notice period—as much as six to twelve months—to allow the company to sufficiently prepare for your departure. During this notice period, you should attempt to complete any projects you’re in the middle of, prepare offboarding documents for those taking over your work, and train anyone who will be taking over your responsibilities.

How can I use AI to help with writing a resignation letter for retirement?

If you’re wondering how to write a retirement resignation letter, AI can be a helpful tool in the process. You can use AI to help write a resignation letter for retirement by using Grammarly’s AI resignation letter generator. Simply enter the intended recipient of your letter and note that your reason for resigning is retirement, and Grammarly will generate a draft of a resignation letter that you can further refine as needed.

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