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How to Give Notice of Retirement

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Clear communication doesn't come easily to everyone. If you're ready to retire and need to break the news to your supervisor, manager or employer, you may be stressed out over giving notice of retirement in a clear manner that values your colleagues and work career. Most companies generally require a written notice of retirement. Give yourself a couple of days to craft your notice of retirement, and remember that retirement is a part of the work world in which people retire every day.

Find out how much advance notice your company requires for retirement by browsing job contracts or talking to someone at human resources. Some jobs have no minimum notice time, while others might request six months' or one month's notice.

Discuss the matter verbally with your supervisor before you send the letter if you think it's appropriate, depending on whether you have a formal or informal relationship and how long you have worked for the company. Since you're following up with a written letter to him advising your retirement, this step is not necessary but should be followed if you are friends with your boss or if you work at a small company.

Write the first sentence of your letter to inform your supervisor or boss that you will be retiring, effective in whatever time frame you determined is appropriate based on company guidelines. Follow this up with a sentence discussing your reasons for retiring, such as spending more time with grandchildren, pursuing artistic endeavor, or travel plans. This is optional but does add a nice personal touch.

Begin a second paragraph that discusses what you enjoyed about work at your company and what you will miss about the company. Thank your supervisor for her support and management over the years. Discuss memorable events over your career. This paragraph can be short and broad if you worked at a large company, or you may choose to open up and discuss meaningful achievements in more detail.

In a new paragraph, offer the company help going forward, either in training your replacement or in assisting in interviewing and recruiting candidates. If you welcome the chance to assist the company post-retirement, as a consultant or in another role, suggest this now.

Conclude the letter by asking your supervisor to let you know of any retirement obligations you'll need to fulfill, such as training another person, closing out files, returning job-related equipment, or filling out paperwork. End the letter with a "sincerely" or "yours truly" and sign your name.

Review the letter for spelling mistakes. Then print the letter and sign it. Deliver the letter to your supervisor, manager or employer to complete giving notice of your retirement.

Tip

If you're not sure who you need to tell when you intend to retire, ask someone in human resources.

Keep a copy of your signed letter for your own records.

Warning

Be professional in your letter and don't say anything mean or critical.

About the Author

A successful website writer since 1998, Elton Dunn has demonstrated experience with technology, information retrieval, usability and user experience, social media, cloud computing, and small business needs. Dunn holds a degree from UCSF and formerly worked as professional chef. Dunn has ghostwritten thousands of blog posts, newsletter articles, website copy, press releases and product descriptions. He specializes in developing informational articles on topics including food, nutrition, fitness, health and pets.

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