When someone retires it is a very special occasion – the culmination of a career. It is often very difficult to know what exactly to say – particularly since retirement speeches are typically given at a party and shouldn’t be too long.
To help you out Stevie Edwards has provided two samples of a retirement speech that you could customise to fit your own purposes.
Sample Retirement Speech: To be given to a Retiring Executive.
Welcome, everyone, to this very special occasion. And a bitter-sweet occasion it is.
It’s very sad to be saying goodbye to A.N. Other. But – at the same time – we know that he leaves us in good shape and – going now – he’s got the chance to enjoy all that hard earned pension before the Chancellor gets his hands on it! I am sure that the rest of us who have to work into their eighties will have plenty of time to mull this over.
Ever since he joined us all those years ago – how many is it? 22, 23? A.N. Other has been a pillar in this particular community/company. Or perhaps I should say a rock – since it was he who helped build the very foundations that have made this firm such a success. And who but A.N. Other would have had the fortitude to deal with the slings and arrows that have assailed us? Not just the economic and industrial issues, but all those moves, the introduction of the vehicle fleet, all that IT stuff. He puts his success down to Mrs Morris’s fortifying tea and cakes but I think we all know that it stemmed from his utter commitment to our work and to our people. He has indeed been part of the lifeblood of this company!
This organisation will be a much emptier place without him, but it will be an honour to take up the baton as his successor and I promise to try and live up to his extraordinarily high standards.
Although we are saying goodbye to A.N. Other, this will not be the last we see of him. After all he’s only retiring not dying or joining a Trappist community. He has already agreed to join us at the next golfing day and I am sure that we will be turning to him for words of wisdom. And I know you all look forward to hearing about all his holiday exploits when he and (name of partner) return from (name of exotic place)!
On a final note, A.N. Other, I would like to wish you all the very best on behalf of all of us. We really hope you have a wonderful trip to wherever! Good luck and let us all now raise our glasses to “A.N. Other’s new life of Reilly”!
Sample Retirement Speech: Retiree’s Response
Well thank you, John, for those kind words. It was indeed 23 years ago that I came a-trembling through the hallowed portals of this head office. Had I known then what a roller coaster ride we were in for I might have trembled even more or turned right round and headed out or, indeed, gone straight to the Inland Revenue and blown the whistle.
But ignorance was bliss in those days! I thought, innocently, that accepting commercial bribes was a natural thing to do. Good enough for a Cabinet minister’s spouse; good enough for me, I thought. But seriously, I was so chuffed to be given the chance to help make this business into a household name.
I only want to say a few words myself – I’ve done enough speaking for a lifetime! But I do want to tell you how much I have appreciated some of the things that make this company so special – not just the business side, but the fun and laughter we have had – to say nothing of the long nights labouring away at last minute documents and deals. And as for Mrs Morris’s teatime treats – I think that’s what I am going to miss most!
John was right. I am leaving but I will be watching your progress with interest and I shall indeed be back. I am certain you will all go on to achieve far better things than I did. If my legacy to you was time spent building this firm up, your legacy to me is one of comradeship, faith in teamwork and an abiding passion for rock cakes.
I have just one final point to make – that is to thank you for the wonderful present. How could you have guessed that it was just what I wanted!!??
I now raise my glass to you and say farewell.