Letter responding to an employee who has informed his or her employer of a wish to retire

Author: Sara Phillips

When to use this model retirement letter

Use this model letter to acknowledge receipt of an employee's notice that he or she wishes to retire and to set out arrangements for retirement.

Letter wording

[Sender's name]
[Sender's address]
[Sender's town]
[Sender's postcode]
[Date]

[Recipient's name]
[Recipient's address]
[Recipient's town]
[Recipient's postcode]

Dear [ ]

Thank you for your recent notification dated [date] that you wish to retire on [date].

I am writing to confirm the details for your proposed retirement as set out in your [retirement form/letter/email] dated [date] and to explain the next steps.

Your length of notice, as set out in your employment contract dated [date], is [number] [weeks/months]. This is the minimum period of contractual notice that you are required to give the organisation before your intended retirement date.

Your proposed retirement date is [date]. I confirm that this is giving the organisation sufficient notice under your contract of employment. We will work towards this date as your final day with the organisation and make arrangements to that effect.

[OR

Your proposed retirement date is [date]. Unfortunately, this does not provide sufficient notice under the terms of your contract of employment, which requires you to give [number] [weeks'/months'] notice.

We request that you provide us with an additional [number] [weeks'/months'] notice to comply with the notice provisions in your contract of employment. We will work towards a new proposed retirement date of [insert correct date, taking into account notice requirements]. Please confirm in writing [by resubmitting the retirement form] that you are happy to accept this new proposed retirement date. If this causes you any concerns, we would be happy to meet with you to discuss your proposed retirement date in more detail. Please contact [name of individual/the HR department] to set up a meeting.]

[You have indicated that you wish to consider phased retirement. / You may be interested to learn about our phased retirement programme.

Phased retirement provides employees who are seeking to retire the opportunity to request a change to their working pattern, prior to retirement, under our policy on requests for flexible working. This may include working on a reduced-hours basis, or stepping down from certain responsibilities to allow for succession planning. Subject to business needs, the organisation is willing to consider such changes to your working pattern.

Phased retirement may benefit you in giving you additional free time to prepare for retirement and for your own personal plans and projects. You are not obliged to take this option, but if you wish to discuss this option further, please contact [name of individual/the HR department] to set up a meeting.]

[The organisation also offers pre-retirement training to all employees who wish to retire in the near future. This is provided at no cost to the employee. This assists employees in planning for their retirement. Details of this training are available from [name of individual/the HR department].]

You should also consider reviewing your pension arrangements. Details of your entitlements under the pension scheme are available from [name of individual/the HR manager/the pensions manager]. You may wish to consider taking independent financial advice in relation to your retirement.

Yours sincerely

[ ]

How to use this document

This is an example document and should be adapted to suit your circumstances.

Law relating to this document

Leading statutory authority

Employment Rights Act 1996
Equality Act 2010
Employment Equality (Repeal of Retirement Age Provisions) Regulations 2011 (SI 2011/1069)

In the absence of an employer justified retirement age (EJRA), employers that compulsorily retire employees, or attempt to pressurise employees to retire, are at risk of direct age discrimination and unfair dismissal claims. Employers need to treat their older employees with care. Managers should avoid making stereotypical assumptions about the abilities or performance of older employees or future intentions to "wind down".

Where there is no EJRA, older employees are free to choose when they wish to stop working. This will constitute a resignation and not a dismissal. Employees should provide their contractual notice period as a minimum to their employer.

Notes

Where an employee has given lengthy notice of his or her wish to retire, it would be advisable to send him or her a reminder of the date by which formal contractual notice is due prior to the proposed retirement date.

Warning

Employers should not pressurise employees into accepting phased retirement. Reduced hours or responsibilities may result in claims of age discrimination if not carried out carefully and with written consent.

Future developments

None.